Pac Your Bags, Man; Namco releases Pac-Man Remix

The video game character with the highest brand awareness in America (94% among consumers according to the Davie-Brown celebrity index) has just received a new installment for the iPhone, which is available on the App Store starting today. No, we’re not talking about the plucky plumber with the adorable red hat. We’re referring to the 1980s video game phenomenon which not only was considered one of the first arcade game hits, but also had its first perfect score achieved by video gaming legend Billy Mitchell.

Let’s see what Billy Mitchell can do against THIS guy!

The game, of course, is Pac-Man (or Puck-Man for those in Europe). Namco Networks has just published Pac-Man Remix for the App Store, retailing at $5.99 for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Based on the original 1979 Pac-Man arcade game, Pac-Man Remix introduces enhanced 3d graphics and a more manic play style to the traditional Pac-Man formula.

“With tricks and traps, special items and battles against giant ghost-bosses, this isn’t your parents’ Pac-Man,” Jonathan Kromrey, general manager for Apple Games at Namco Networks, wrote in a press release. “Fans of the original are going to enjoy the twist on the arcade action of Pac-Man Remix.”

Here are the new power-ups Pac-Man can take advantage of in Remix:

  • Jump ‘“ jump over ghosts or walls
  • Dash ‘“ move faster
  • Lucky Item ‘“ all the pellets turn into Power Pellets
  • Ninja Item ‘“ Trick the ghosts with an illusion of PAC-MAN

Visually, the game features a more vibrant color palette than previous versions in the series. The maze view is also from an angular viewpoint, unlike the original’s top-down 2D presentation. The game can either be controlled by on-screen directional arrows or by “Flick Mode” which allows the player to control Pac-Man by using their finger. Options for difficulty and number of lives a player can utilize over the course of the game are also included.

Despite introducing so many new features to the tried-and-true Pac-Man formula, Pac-Mania hit arcades in 1987 featuring a 3D board (technically 2D, with 3D rendered sprites), new power-ups aside from the standard power pellet, and the ability to jump. The jump feature in Pac-Mania allowed the player to avoid obstacles such a ghosts, while in Remix, the jump move is used to avoid both ghosts and walls.

While Namco has created many incarnations of Pac-Man in the past (both well received and not), its most recent Pac-Man revival Pac-Man Championship Edition on the Xbox 360 Live Arcade is largely considered one of the best installments. Keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming review on Slide To Play.