10 Thoughts On… Pac-Man 256 (iPhone iOS Game, PacMan, Hipster Whale, Crossy Road)

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Crossy Road developers Hipster Whale are back with a licensed endless Pac-Man! Here are some of my early impressions.

1. The makers of megahit endless Frogger game Crossy Road are back with an all new take on Pac-man, but this time it’s actually licensed!

2. The overall idea is that you are Pac-Man, and the maze is endlessly scrolling up and to the right. Controls are done by swiping, and swiping in any one of four directions will move Pac-man

3. The maze is disintegrating behind you, an homage to the infamous Map 256 Glitch where the game glitches on level 256. In Pac-Man 256, the maze crumbles a few inches behind, creating a constant sense of panic to continue moving forward.

4. The game is played vertically, perfect for subway rides, and has a lot of the same UI and monetization features that Crossy Road has.

5. The look and feel is retro but modern, in that there are pixelated characters, but also a totally modern sheen, with some great particle effects and overall silky smooth animation.

6. While it is free to download, there are various ways that the game slows you down, even more-so than in Crossy Road. There is a credits system that limits how long you can play at once, but a one time $8 purchase overrides that.

7. So far there have been a number of different types of ghosts, that repeat throughout the level, as opposed to the four ghosts of the original. Each of the ghosts has a different ability, such as the grey ghost that is sleeping until you come near it, and then wakes up and follows you for a bit. My expectation is that there might be other types of ghosts later in the game.

8. There are various unlockables, such as skills and upgrades that can be used for greater scores and bonuses. The in-game gold currency returns from Crossy Road and is interspersed throughout the mazes as extra bonuses.

9. Core scoring in the game is done by how many regular pellets that the player eats as Pac-Man, with bonuses for other types of pellets, ghosts and of course fruit.

10. There seem to be a typical array of level-increasing achievements, such as eating 5 types of the same fruit. It remains to be seen how far this will go.

Overall Pac-Man 256 is really impressive at first glance, I’m excited to spend more time with it and see if it has as much lasting appeal as Crossy Road.

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