At 42, Pac-Man is one of the biggest gaming icons, a character known to everyone who has been in contact with electronic games throughout his life. And a good part of this trajectory can be seen (and played) in Pac-Man Museum +Collection released in late May by Bandai Namco.
There are some notable absences, especially Ku. Pac-Man, and perhaps some of the character’s 3D action stage games, such as Pac-Man World from the first PlayStation, but overall, the 17-game package includes some of the best games in Yellow Acorn and some of its weaker titles. As well as
High and low
The original 1980s arcade, the first big hit in the arcade, and the Super Pack-Man and Pack and Pal versions are present, exploring the maze formula with some variations on the rules. Pac-Mania, a must-have game for Bandai Namco mascot fans, looks amazing on modern 4K TVs.
An addictive pairing is Pac-Atack, a 1992 Super Nintendo game that brings Pac-Man and ghosts into the Tetris-style puzzle. There are also two versions of the Pack-Man Arrangement: the original arcade from 1996 and the version released for PSP in 2005, in the second collection, Namco Museum Battle Collection.
Among the most unusual games, Curious Pac-Motos is an isometric fighting game, originally derived from the Japanese arcade Motos and previously released for the Nintendo Wii and the addictive Pac-N Roll, a marble madness-style platform and puzzle game. Available for DS. Too bad the controls in this latest game aren’t as accurate as the game asks.
The most recent releases of the collection include the best Pac-Man Championship Edition (one of the best games ever made in my opinion) and the microtransaction-free version of the mobile game Pac-Man 256, with multiplayer support. The best part of the collection is Pac-Man Battle Royale, a 2010 arcade game featuring sensational competitive multiplayer matches.
On the other hand, there are some weaker games, such as Pac-In-Time, a platform game that wasn’t a big deal when it was released for Super Nintendo in 1994. Now imagine. The same is true of Pack-Land, an infinite running game released in 1984 and more valuable for curiosity.
Absence of recent action and platform games and especially Ku. Pac-Man, have felt so much. The Pac-Man girlfriend starred in one of the most important arcades of the 1980s, but is nowhere mentioned in the collection. Gashapon doesn’t have a single doll that a player can collect, for example. The reason? Legal dispute over intellectual property between Bandai Namco and Midway, a long-running dispute.
The pack is fun and brings many great games for gamers of all ages. And it’s amazing to see how the original Pac-Man’s ingenious game design remains fun and addictive even after forty years.
There is a lot of additional information about each game and many collectibles to unlock, such as 3D models of characters in arcade cabinets, soundtracks and Gatchpone formats. Some extra stuff is missing, but the biggest problem is that in order to unlock everything, you have to play all the games in the pack for a long time – even the best ones.
Pac-Man Museum + is available for PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One. The game is included in the Xbox Game Pass catalog.
*This review was done on the Xbox Series X.