Adam Sandler’s upcoming Pixels has nabbed some iconic characters – all from gaming’s classic coin-op days – including Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.
October 14 marks the 35th birthday of the legendary game console, which landed with a bang in 1977. It wasn’t the first home video game system — that honor belongs to the Magnavox Odyssey — but it quickly became the most widely adopted and set the standard for many, many years.
On Nov. 2, Disney will release “Wreck-It Ralph,” the story of an arcade video game villain who tries to turn things around and become a hero. It’s getting plenty of buzz for its playful premise, but in gaming circles, the film is better known as “that movie with more gaming cameos than you can shake a stick at.”
After a long delay, the pellet gobbler has found a network home.
Playing video games can be a punishing hobby. From the grueling difficulty of old legends like Contra to the fiendish trials of new nightmares like Dark Souls, gaming is rife with moments that make even the most dedicated player wonder why, for the love of Mario, they put themselves through this.
That doubt, of course, is erased the moment you make it through a seemingly impossible segment or unlock an achievement that few others can manage. It may be fleeting, but that natural high is the stuff gamers live for. If you’re looking for such a rush — and believe you have the skills to handle any game — try testing your might against these seven insane challenges.
Pac-Man and Bejewled might seem an odd mix, but they blend quite well together in PAC-CHOMP! The game is nearly as addictive as the PopCap Games’ classic Bejeweled, but still retains the charm of Pac-Man, a beloved arcade standard. Matching ghosts of the same color earns bonus items, which eliminate scores of ghosts when Pac-Man eats them. Match enough ghosts and you’ll earn a power pellet, which triggers a bonus stage when eaten. The real fun is in the ability to rotate parts of the screen to move elements around. Determining when that’s appropriate adds another layer of strategy to the game, elevating it beyond a simple clone. One word of warning to colorblind players: The ghosts can be hard to discern if your eyes have trouble with shades of blue. That won’t affect most people, but it’s maddening for those it does.
Namco-Bandai and Microsoft, along with Soap Creative, have released a new, free-to-play version of the arcade classic that links hundreds of user-created mazes together, effectively creating the world’s largest game of Pac-Man.
There’s really not a lot that’s new with PAC’N-JUMP, but that doesn’t stop it from being an eminently enjoyable diversion. Stealing the successful Doodle Jump formula, the game puts Pac-Man on a vertical quest, rather than a maze-based one. And while he still gobbles up dots and power pellets, he also has a series of platforms to help him get higher — and boost the player’s score. The controls are very responsive and rather than being a one-trick pony, players can unlock additional maps that pit Pac-Man against enemies from other classic arcade games, such as Dig-Dug, Rally-X, and Galaga. It’s a retro twist on what is already an iDevice gaming classic.
He has adorned cereal boxes, been the star of a Saturday morning cartoon program and appeared on virtually every gaming platform to have ever been released.
With titles like “Red Faction” and “Halo” starting to expand beyond their gaming roots into novels and television, some of the rights owners for the games that made the industry big in the first place are exploring their options. And it’s not a pretty picture.