I’ve been chomping at the bit to play this one.

Review Date: January 10, 2021

Release Date: December 1, 1980 (although I’m questioning that now when the version I’m playing says 1982)

Platform: Atari 800

Genre: Puzzle

I procured a Pac-Man Power Pellet for protection.

Anecdotes: Ok, it was at this point where I was happy we had the 800 while two of the sets cousins had the 2600. We had the good version of Pac-Man that didn’t look like it was designed on a graphic calculator. We had the version where we could tell what things are. We had the version where we could eat keys and Atari logos. We had the one with a color scheme that didn’t induce vomiting. Anyway, I may have missed the Space Invaders craze as a baby, but I can fully remember the Pac-Man craze that took over everything. Christine got addicted to the 2600 version on an episode of You Can’t Do That on Television. My dentist’s office had a Pac-Man machine in the waiting room. Pac-Man even had his own cartoon that I watched, and there are still people that think I’m making up that cartoon. My mom and grandma would buy round blocks of cheese and cut them into “Pac-Man Cheese” when I was little. Pac-Man WAS pop culture. Now, Pac-Man isn’t sweeping the nation anymore, but he’s still popular enough that people wear things with his likeness on them. By the way, the game was originally called Puck-Man, but was changed to Pac when the creators realized in was too easy to cover the curve in P to make it look like an F. This is the first game for an 8-bit system I’m covering and, with one exception, I’ll be doing 8-bit games until early May.

Blinky, get your eyes over here so I can chomp you down to size!

Description: I’m sure you already know.

Not a bad score starting from the Cherry level, 16,150.

Positives: The game is fun. The ghosts move in four different patterns, so you can’t cheese your way through by manipulating them. Objects (known as “fruits”) appear below the ghost box that can give extra points. You can eat Atari logos. The game has a fair scoring system that motivates players to get a high score. I like how the power pellets can be used offensively for big points or defensively to get the ghosts to stop attacking for a moment.

Negatives: There is only one maze layout, so it’s easy to get bored after about 20 levels. The “fruits” become nothing but Keys starting on the 13th level. By time you reach the 20th level, you won’t be able to eat the ghosts anymore. At that point, you will not see anything new or different.

Yummy Atari logo! I’ll happily take 2,000 points…
…but I paid the price for it.

Grade: B

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