Relive the old-school arcade game with PAC-MAN Lite for iPad

Aug 31, 2010
Games

Everyone knows and loves PAC-MAN. The little yellow-dot-eating character is a symbol of the video game industry. So, bringing the iconic title to the iPhone and iPad is definitely a smart thing. However, Namco’s free version for the iPad is just a little disappointing. The first thing to take note of is that this lite […]

Everyone knows and loves PAC-MAN. The little yellow-dot-eating character is a symbol of the video game industry. So, bringing the iconic title to the iPhone and iPad is definitely a smart thing. However, Namco’s free version for the iPad is just a little disappointing.

The first thing to take note of is that this lite version only includes the first stage of the game. This would be fine, except that after you’ve completed the stage, there is no way to restart again. A closing screen appears, and the only option is to buy the full game. You can’t even quit to the main menu. Your only choice is to press the home button to quit the app and restart it. This is incredibly frustrating, and really makes the app too annoying to even keep on your device.

The game runs just like the original arcade version. The graphics are just as you would expect, and the sounds really bring you back to the original title. You control PAC-MAN with the virtual joystick in the lower left corner of the screen. This joystick is always visible, but you can control the game using one of three methods. You can use that virtual joystick to change direction, but there are a couple of problems with that method. One, it only stays on the left side of the screen, so if you prefer a right-thumb stick, you’re out of luck. Also, the joystick is just not very accurate, so you’ll find yourself making several frustrating errors throughout the game. The second control method is to use the accelerometer. You can tilt left, right, forward and back to move PAC-MAN around the screen. This is, by far, the least-functional approach. The iPad screen is just too big to be jerking around, trying to quickly change direction during the game. The third method, and the preferred one, is to swipe your finger anywhere on the screen in the direction you want to move. This seems to be the most accurate way to play.

PAC-MAN on the iPad, even with some issues, is definitely fun. The full version will have you playing for hours, but if you want to get a taste of the gameplay before you buy, then I recommend picking up the lite version first.

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