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PacMan is back in Pac-In-Time a moderately old game from 1994 that's still fun to play despite the age.
The game actually if you start to think about it, marks a turning point in the PacMan franchise.
In 1970's PacMan from Atari busted into arcade machines all over the world, despite the obvious nuisance that PacMan was just a yellow ball with a mouth, that gobbled ghosts, didn't stop the game from being a hit.
For such a very limited game, the game gave huge profits for Atari. Of coure they wouldn't stop there, however, different companies would change hands as far as licensing goes, however the Pacman character would evolve.
Namco took the Pacman game and gave him arms and legs, a cool soundtrack, much better graphics, an arsenal of obstacles and called this next hit "Pacland".
Then in late 80's Pacman once again emerged, but in a less successful game called "PacMania", this time around, Pacman had lost his arms and legs, limited the maze playing game.
So here we arrived at 1994 and well, gamers wanted more than just a yellow ball going across the screen. They wanted more
fully developed characters, since gamers were becoming much more advance.
In Pac-In-Time then, Mindscape took the license and made not only a pretty fun game, but again redeveloped PacMan to make him suitable for modern times. PacMan not only had arms and legs, but he had superspeed , he could swim, climb and do a bunch of other crazy things.
PacMan has a long family, he has Ms. Pacman, Pac Jr. etc. Well following a long day, an evil witch cast Pacman back in time and so PacMan most use all his newly earned abilities to go back home.
The graphics are not that bad, I came in with somewhat low expectations but was pleasantly surprised. PacMan looks great with his new makeover, with his arms and legs, and not only that but now he has facial expressions and so forth.
The enemies in the game, consisting of the familiar horde of ghosts look allright. The designs for the levels look good, everything from ranging from an abandonded desert, to an underwater dungeon are look as best as it can be on a pc. There is a nice status screen too that look pretty polished .
Sound and Music **
In this area, the game falls a bit short. There is no audio or dialgue spoken by PacMan. The sound do reuses part of the orignal theme for the game. The music track is original and plays through the whole game, it's never the same, but I wouldn't say the music was groundbreaking stuff. It suits the game more or less.
Now this is where the game gets good and its obvious that many improvements have been made since the original PacMan
Control wise, Pacman has come a long way. He is loaded with many moves in the game, he is no longer just a giant eating ball. Pacman has legs, arms, and a face.
As far controls Pac, has super-speed, a high jump, he can also swim, and climb to different away using a special whip and he can also shoot special pellets from his mouth.
Speaking of which, the pellets from prior games, don't give Pacman invisibility no more, but you can still use them as offensive weapons, similar to a slingshot.
Control wise, what you have to do each is go through a level of mazes and find the exit to the end. That's in a nutshell, it sounds boring, but it's not I really like the mazes and some of the new traps , gadgets and other things thrown in.
Well, this is not brain surgery, but the game should pose some type of challenge for even older veterans. Sometimes you will actually have to use the old noggin and think about how to get through a maze, not that the mazes are really hard,, but at least unlike the original pacman game, the mazes themselves are not so straightforward and you just can't rush through them.
There are no bonuses that I know of.
Although, Pac-In -Time, is really a simpleminded game, I have to say I liked it, there's nothing like seeing a videogame icon like Pacman back from the dead. Just like the SuperMario bros. and Sonic, these type of characters are hard to ignore and you can't help but feel nostalgic in playing this game.
Nostalgia of course can equal big money as far as games go. After this game, Pacman came back in a series of popular new retrogames: PacMan World, PacMan World 2 and Pacman Fever.
If anything, the list of titles dedicated to Pacman shows that their still a market for the game character and he is as still cherished now, as he was way back when.