Pac-Mania is an arcade video game in the Pac-Man series, released by Namco in 1987 (and distributed by Atari Games in the United States and Europe). It runs on Namco System 1 hardware and was the last arcade title in the Pac-Man series until 1996. It is a pseudo-3D interpretation of the classic maze game genre using an isometric view and features many of the elements from the original 1980 Pac-Man arcade game, as well as several new features.
As in Pac-Man, the objective of Pac-Mania is to score as many points as possible. The player controls Pac-Man and attempts to eat all the pellets in a maze, while avoiding being caught by the ghosts who chase him around it. The player can eat power pellets that cause the ghosts to turn dark blue and become vulnerable; the player can then go to eat the ghosts for extra points, sending them back to their regenerator to return to their original colour and behaviour.
Pac-Mania contains several new features and significant differences from its original counterpart. The most noticeable change was the view used in cabinet projection, an oblique pseudo-3D format, in which Pac-Man always occupied the center of the screen (and a virtual camera moves around the round to follow him). In addition, the player can press a button to cause Pac-Man to jump, allowing him to evade most ghosts by jumping over them. However, Pac-Man cannot as easily jump over the two new green and gray ghosts because they will jump whenever the player presses the jump button; in fact, he can't jump over the gray one at all.
The ghosts include the returning Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde from the original Pac-Man, and Sue who is now purple instead of orange from Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Land. Unlike her original appearance (where she was a replacement of Clyde), she now homes in on Pac-Man's direction and will follow him around. There are two new ghosts (green and steel gray) that bounce whenever Pac-Man bounces. (It is hinted in the game's intermissions that the names of the two new ghosts are 'Funky' and 'Spunky', or 'Common' and 'Gray Common' in the Japanese version, though this is never made completely clear). In later rounds, up to nine ghosts can be present in a single round. Also, bonus objects in this game not only include traditional point-scoring fruits, but also power-up items which can have random effects, such as doubling the point values of ghosts (until death) or causing Pac-Man to move much faster than normal (until a power pellet wears off).
The game takes place in four environments: Block Town (made up of Lego-like building blocks), Pac-Man's Park (an isometric version of the original Pac-Man maze), Sandbox Land (walls are made up from pyramids), and Jungly Steps (appearing as pathways with no railings, resembling a set of steps that rise up toward the back of the maze). There is also a 'secret' maze in the Sega Master System version, which can be reached by eating all the regular pellets on the first round, then eating the special item that appears in the centre of the maze. The game has a limited number of rounds, after which the player is shown a brief ending and production credits, and is prompted for his/her initials if he/she has placed on the high score table. The number of rounds varies by version (23 in the Japanese, 19 in the US). DIP switches in the game can be set to make the game endless, repeating its last six rounds forever until the player loses all of his/her remaining lives.
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You can control this game easily by using the keyboard of your PC (see the table next to the game). However, for maximum gaming enjoyment, we strongly recommend using a USB gamepad that you simply plug into the USB port of your computer. If you do not have a gamepad, buy a suitable USB controller in Amazon or in some of your favorite online stores.