To all you Pac-Man fans out there; a Pac-Man game debuted in 2005 with a refreshing take on the arcade classic. This wasn’t a 3D platformer, nor a compilation. Pac-Pix was a wholly original reinvention of the classic Pac-Man gameplay. Sadly, it hasn’t seen any kind of re-release since its debut, despite there now being a multitude of capable formats.

What is Pac-Pix?

Pac-Pix is a Nintendo DS game released in 2005. The game was built exclusively for the system, taking advantage of it’s then-new touchscreen input.

In this rendition of the yellow-pellet-munchers’ escapades a mischievous wizard has invented “Ghost Ink”. Anything written in the ink turns into ghosts. And becoming the ghosts from Pac-Man, they are naughty and mischievous. The ghost have travelled around the world infecting books and pictures, causing lots of trouble the world over. Of course, Pac-Man himself comes along and can’t stand by idly as the ghosts run amok. He began to rid the world of those pesky with his trusty magic pen. Using all his skill Pac-Man traps all the ghosts into one last book. He only had to turn the trapped ghosts back into Ghost Ink, but at the last moment the ghosts released a curse on Pac-Man. He is transported into the book himself.

The aim of the game is to help Pac-Man catch all the ghosts with the “magic pen” – your Nintendo DS stylus.

Pac-Man, but Different

This game is one of those games that you can’t put down. It sucks you into a Pac-Man world with a difference. Drawing a rigidly-proposed Pac-Man on the touchscreen allows you to munch the remaining ghosts, changing his direction by stroking the touchscreen in the desired direction. The smaller your drawings are the faster they move, which gets challenging when you have three Pac-Men on screen simultaneously.

As you advance through the chapters, the levels become more challenging. Ghosts with a protective sheet, crying ghosts which drop their tears on the paper (there’s that Ghost Ink again), meaning you can’t draw anything on the splats of ink for a while, restricting the area you have to work with to create your Pac-Men.

Pac-Pix screenshot

Pac-Pix’s Longevity Wasn’t the Goal

Each time you complete a chapter you are given a rank. This is a pretty basic way of giving you a target to aim for. There’s no multiplayer, and the campaign isn’t exactly huge. However, Pac-Pix is an entirely unique and inventive take on the familiar Pac-Man gameplay.

How many of the older gamers out there can remember whiling the hours away in the arcades or on a home consoles playing the original Pac-Man? Well you won’t be disappointed with this game. Pac-Man has a legacy to live up to and this time they definitely hit the mark. Pac-Pix is a wonderful title that expands one of Namco’s beloved franchises. It set a benchmark for future spin-off titles which sadly has rarely been lived-up to.

Categories: Games