Zack Stern's picture


pac-man screen
So very hungry.

The insatiable appetites of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man return on the iPhone, and nothing has changed since their arcade glory days. We can easily combine the nearly identical games into one review, but customers don’t have that luxury; these pricy purchases are à la carte, even though a budget-level bundle would make sense.

The Pac-Mans are still fun, wandering around their respective mazes, eating dots and avoiding ghosts. In addition to the original ghost AI, two other game types make the game easier and slow down its speed. Three control types steer the chomping, yellow discs; wobbly tilt controls seem imprecise and can’t be calibrated, and directional buttons rarely feel accurate either. Thankfully, swipe gestures can permanently hold the joystick and effectively drive the game.

But other than those options, these are the same games as ever. Eat dots, avoid ghosts, eat ghosts, repeat. Where’s the modern update or bundle value?

While a great Pac-Man remake is possible—see the Xbox 360 for an example—these games are just a nostalgic grab for your money. They’re authentic, but nothing else.

PRICE: $9.99 each
REQUIREMENTS: iPhone or iPod touch with 2.0 software update.
Carefully cloned from original, arcade games. Swipe gestures effectively steer. Feel just like the original games.
Tilt controls can’t be calibrated. Doesn’t take advantage of enough iPhone abilities. Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man must be bought separately. No update, just rehash.


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