Endless Maze Runner
Crossy Road developer Hipster Whale has followed up their hit mobile game release with another endless runner game for mobile, this time based on classic character Pac-Man. Entitled Pac-Man 256, the game is inspired by a glitch that was present in the original arcade game incarnation of Pac-Man. If a player somehow managed to make it all the way to level 256, the screen would fill with glitches and random sprites, effectively ending the game.
In Pac-Man 256, players help Pac-Man navigate an endlessly scrolling maze while also attempting to outrun waves of glitches. While the mazes are generated at random and the encroaching glitch effects are a new mechanic entirely, much of Pac-Man 256 will be quite familiar to fans of earlier Pac-Man games.
There are still dots to munch, ghosts to outrun, fruit to eat for bonus points and Power Pellets to transform Pac-Man from ghost-escaper to ghost-chaser. Additional power-ups in the new game include tornadoes and laser beams, both of which were notable omissions from the original game and its various arcade sequels.
Free to Play the Classics…for a Little While
Hipster Whale was an ideal choice to take on this project, as the small development team’s 2014 breakout hit, Crossy Road, was also based on putting an endless scrolling spin on a classic arcade game. Based loosely on Frogger, albeit with a chicken rather than an amphibian (and dozens of unlockable characters including a grave digger and Korean drumming superstar), Crossy Road earned millions of dollars in in-app purchases last year – 10 million in its first three months alone.
Crossy Road was also notable in that unlike most free to play mobile games, in-app purchases focused on unlocking new characters, rather than forcing players to make purchases in order to continue playing.
Pac-Man 256, unfortunately, does employ the usual free to play strategy; after running out of lives, players either have to either pay for in-app credits to continue playing, or wait until a mandated amount of time has passed in order to try again :(.
Pac-Man 256 is published by Bandai Namco, owners of the Pac-Man license, and is available for iOS and Android devices.
Watch the trailer for Pac-Man 256 below: