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Review: Pak-Man DEMO
Wasn't it the great Shigeru Miyamoto who said, "If Pacman had affected us as children then we'd all be running around darkened rooms, swallowing magic pills and listening to repetitive music"? Still, that doesn't matter. Pacman, of course, is a classic - it was the game on that hulking arcade cabinet that stood in the corner of the chip shop that you used to play while waiting for an order of battered sausage. Well, it would be if you were old enough. In my case, it was a weird version of The Crystal Maze. No matter.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with the game, though I can't imagine why you would be, the idea is this: Guide the pizza-shaped yellow hero around a maze munching on the dots, while avoiding the four ghosts that resemble gowned members of a Gospel Choir. Collecting power pills turns the tables for a few moments (though not long enough!), as the ghosts turn blue and you can "eat" them for a while - but their eyes just go back to the centre of the screen and they respawn, to use today's gaming terminology. A path off the side of the screen allows you to wrap around it.
And this game executes it perfectly, down to the last detail. The monster AI is very good apart from the occasional moment of madness (and these saved me quite a few times). As the levels progress, the maze changes and things get harder - the monsters are faster and the effects of the power pills wear off more quickly. The graphics are in a retro style, fitting with the theme of the game.
Now, we come to the problem. I feel very guilty saying this, but at the end of the day it's still just Pacman - a classic game, as I said at the beginning, but not a timeless classic. After you've played it a few times, the novelty will wear off - that's not to say that it's not fun along the way, though.
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David Newton (DavidN)