Game

The 1980’s biggest gaming star takes on mobile — and wins

Price: $4.99/£3.99
Size: 153 MB
Version: 1.0.0
Developer: Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc.

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This latest entry in one of gaming’s longest-running series asks the following question: What would happen if someone smashed together Pac-Man and Snake? The answer: awesomeness.

The basics of Pac-Man remain much as they have been since the original game appeared back in 1980. The rotund chap with an insatiable appetite zooms about mazes, eating dots, while deadly ghosts lurk. On eating a power pellet, the ghosts turn blue and temporarily become fair game for becoming an additional snack.

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Run away! Pac-Man flees while the left-hand half of the maze refills after a special item was gobbled.

With the original Championship Edition, the concept was shaken up a bit. As over the years screens had shifted from portrait to widescreen, it made sense to fully utilize all that extra space. Mazes were therefore split in two. Eat all the dots in one half and a special item would appear in the other. Eat that and the half you’d just cleared would be refilled.

The other major change was the speed of the game, which increased the longer you managed to stay alive. Several minutes in, everything moved at a lightning pace, making it a struggle not to collide with a ghost. Doing so robbed you of a life and also some of your speed, thereby potentially scuppering your chances of a high-score during timed rounds.

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The Dungeon maze has old-school graphics and a tendency to keep changing its pathways.

In DX, you have the added complication of snoozing ghosts. Brush past them and they wake up and start following your every move. Before long, you’ve a line of spectres on your tail, and they’re every bit as deadly as your own form in a game of Snake. Of course, grab a power pellet and they become lunch. The trick is therefore to learn each maze’s dot-refresh patterns and the most opportune moment to eat all your foes, which awards you with massive points. If no power pellet’s nearby, you can also get the ghosts off your tail by pinching to let off a bomb, although this will hit your game speed and score multiplier.

Bombs can get you out of a tricky situation.

Bombs can get you out of a tricky situation.

If you absolutely despise Pac-Man, then DX still won’t be the game for you. Otherwise, this is a superb arcade outing with a ton of content and, mercifully, no IAP. It’s ‘pay once and play’ — and you’ll be playing an awful lot if our experience during testing was anything to go by.

Review: Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is a modern arcade classic
One of the very best mobile updates of a much-loved classic; but, most importantly, DX is a brilliant game in its own right.
For
  • Loads of mazes and missions
  • Fast and frenetic gameplay
  • A great update of a classic
Against
  • A tiny bit fiddly on smaller iPhones
4.7Overall Score