Pac-Man, the yellow-pellet munching icon of 1980s arcade gaming, has been around for over 30 years. This little yellow circle ghost has seen a lot of changes over his lifetime – he’s gone from being a lowly fruit-chomping dot eater to the king of a flourishing kingdom full of ghosts and Goblins. Yet in all that time, Pac hasn’t changed as much as you might think. The original concept remains exactly the same: eat all the dots and don’t get caught by the ghosts! With so many Pac-Man variations out there, it can be hard to keep track. Which one is your favorite? Is it the neon purple inspired Pac-Man Championship Edition? Or perhaps you prefer the ghost trains and creepy labyrinths of Pac-Man World 3? There are plenty more to choose from too – let us know what your personal favorite is!
30 Years of Pac-Man: A Brief History
Pac-Man first appeared at the arcade in 1980, designed and programmed by Toru Iwatani. The game was an immediate smash hit, and quickly became one of the most recognizable symbols of the era. The original Pac-Man was a one-off, with no sequels or spin-offs. However, it did spawn a number of imitators, most notably Ms. Pac-Man (1982), which was released as a sequel and a response to Manny Herman’s Pac-Man, Jr. (1981). The game was also featured in a number of crossovers and other novelty releases, including Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures (1994), an animated TV series. Pac-Man, as well as the game’s characters, have also appeared in a number of other media, including books, comics, and a feature film.
2nd Edition: Ghosts and Dots Together Forever
The original Pac-Man, while a killer app and a great game, didn’t have a whole lot of variety. There were just 4 ghosts, a maze, and of course a few dots to gobble up. The game was a massive success, but it did leave some room for improvement. In 1982, the game was reskinned and given a sequel in the form of Ms. Pac-Man. The game featured the same basic gameplay as the original, but it also added a number of new features. These included a health bar and a few new enemies, including a larger ghost called Blinky and a few new enemy characters. Ms. Pac-Man was perhaps the first game to truly realize the potential of Pac-Man and show the world what these characters were really capable of. Thanks to this game, the Pac-Man franchise really started to take off.
3rd Edition: More Ghost Co-Op Chaos
The third edition of Pac-Man came in the form of Super Pac-Man, originally released in 1982. It was a pretty standard platformer game, featuring a yellow Pac-Man as he ran through a series of levels. There’s one major difference here though – in Super Pac-Man, the ghosts were given more power! While the ghosts in the original game only had one power-up ability – to turn blue when Pac-Man was eating – the ghosts in Super Pac-Man could do a whole lot more. The ghosts could now split into smaller ghosts, create a copy of themselves, and even become giant monsters. These new powers turned Super Pac-Man from a standard platformer into something like a puzzle game, as you had to plan your movements and actions around what the ghosts could do. This was an interesting addition to the game and something that set it apart from the standard Pac-Man formula.
4th Edition: The Big Green Makeover
With new editions of the game coming out in the 1980s, Pac-Man’s popularity was at an all-time high. There were toys, books, and even a cartoon series based on it. So what would be the best way to keep the Pac-Mania going? In 1991, Pac-Man returned to the arcades with a brand-new edition. Pac-Man: Special Color Edition was an update to the original game, but with a twist – everything in the game had been changed to green! Yes, there were now blue walls and green dots, plus a few other color changes here and there. This game was also the first Pac-Man game to use characters other than Pac-Man himself – in this case, the ghosts were replaced by brand-new characters.
5th Edition: Clash of the Colored Bosses
In 1993, Pac-Man was given a more traditional sequel in the form of Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures. This was a point-and-click adventure game, featuring Pac-Man and a few new characters. The game was set in a fantasy world, with Pac and his friends going up against an evil wizard named Goblintron. The Pac-Man franchise had enjoyed a lot of success up to that point, but arguably there was nothing that could top the original game. This changed with the release of Pac-Man 2, which introduced a new villain – a mechanical owl named Mezmaron. Mezmaron was a colorful, quirky, and fun villain – and he was entirely new to Pac-Man. He wasn’t taken from any of the original games, and he was a breath of fresh air among the otherwise bland villains.
6th Edition: Let’s Go On a Date!
In 1999, Pac-Man made the jump to 3D with Pac-Man World. This game took the franchise in a completely different direction, featuring an isometric view and 3D graphics. Pac-Man World was also the first game to use 3D models as opposed to sprites. This game didn’t really do much to build upon the previous Pac-Man games (except for maybe Pac-Man World 2). It wasn’t a direct sequel, and it didn’t introduce any new characters or villains. It was just a fresh new take on the Pac-Man formula, with a few new innovations to keep it fresh.
7th Edition: Pac Steps In Time – Tambourines Please!
The seventh edition of Pac-Man came in the form of Pac-Man Fever. This was a music game, based around the original Pac-Man. The game was released in 2004 for the Xbox and PlayStation 2, and it brought Pac-Man back to his roots. Pac-Man Fever was a multiplayer game that was designed to be played by lots of people at the same time. As such, there was no real single-player campaign and no real story to speak of. It was just a fun game to play with friends, with a funky soundtrack that just begged to be danced to. The game also featured a number of guest stars, including characters from other franchises like SpongeBob SquarePants and The Simpsons. It was a lighthearted and fun game that celebrated Pac-Man and kept the franchise alive.
8th Edition : Pac-Man Returns to His Roots
In 2010, Pac-Man made a triumphant return to the arcades. Pac-Man Championship Edition, or just Championship Edition, was a reboot of the original game, but with a modern twist. The game featured a new look and graphics, as well as innovative gameplay. Championship Edition, like the original game, was a one-player game where you had to eat all the dots on the screen and avoid being caught by the ghosts. However, Championship Edition introduced a few new features, such as musical notes that sped up as you ate more dots. The game was a massive success, and it introduced some new concepts to the Pac-Man formula. It was a refreshing take on the original game and explored the potential of the Pac-Man characters and their universe. Championship Edition was followed up with Championship Edition 2 in 2011, Championship Edition DX in 2012, and Championship Edition DX: It’s a Wonderful Life in 2013. All of these games followed the same formula as the first Championship Edition.
The Pac-Man franchise has seen many changes over the years, with new editions and sequels bringing new elements to the table. The core gameplay is still the same,