With a career that spans nearly three decades across a majority of platforms, there are few videogame characters as ubiquitous as Pac-Man. The canary-colored protagonist has starred in over thirty spin-offs, headlined a television series, promoted breakfast cereal, and even inspired a hit song. The pellet-muncher’s prolific career has more recently inspired a trio of iphone apps, courtesy of the developers at Namco-Bandai.
The latest iteration to entertain owners of Apple’s device offers a slightly more complex diversion than Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man. With the incorporation of speed pads, alternating doors, and teleporters, Pac-Man Remix has enough innovation to maintain the interest fans of veteran ghost gobblers. Still, novices will be able to understand the game’s fundamentals.
Players can use one of two control schemes to maneuver Pac-Man around the title’s labyrinthine halls. Both the virtual direction pad and the directional ‘flicking’ methods work reasonably well; although both modes resulted in the occasional errant direction. To complete a level, the gamer must gobble up every pellet on-screen, while avoiding a quartet of wandering foes. By eating one of the power-pellets, typically located in the corners of the screen, players can temporarily invert the pursuit and consume the games antagonists. Gamers accosted to the speed of Pac-Man will find that Remix slows the action down considerably, perhaps to counteract for the slight disconnect with the games control schemes.
Every five levels, players are confronted by a boss, which offers a refreshing reprieve from the central game mechanics. Gamers typically break a larger boss into smaller, more manageable pieces. Power-ups are given out liberally, giving the player a distinct and pleasing advantage, from jumping over enemies to turning all the pellets into Power-Pellets.
Graphically, Pac-Man Remix utilizes a vibrant and visually appealing palette to display its on-screen mazes. Pac and his pursers are drawn in a diminutive manner to accommodate the game’s horizontal-oriented display, but are articulated capably during the charming between-round cinematics. Some of the game’s pathways contain intricate zones- areas that require quick maneuvering to navigate.
With the release of Pac-Man Remix, Namco’s previous iPhone incarnations of the videogame icon have been rendered obsolete. The game substantially improves on the two preceding arcade recreations, offering depth and diversity that should challenge and entertain Pac-fans. While the game’s six dollar price is elevated, it would be easy to recommend the title when a sales inevitably occurs.