Year Of Release: 1980
Pac-Man is gaming’s very first super star. The game was originally released in 1980 by Namco in Japan. Interestingly in Japan, he was called Puck-Man. However when the game was released in the West. People were worried that that the arcade cabinet would be vandalised and people would replace the P in Puck Man with an F. So he had his name changed to Pac-Man.
Back when Pac-Man was released the popular genre of video games was that of space shooters. Asteroids and Space Invaders were the most notable ones as well as this many sports games which were really just variations on Pong were also popular. So when Pac-Man came along it was really quite ground breaking. And as a result the game was just huge. The popularity of Pac-Man was just astounding and the original arcade game even to this day is a popular fixture in arcades all over the world.
On the surface, Pac-Man is a very simple game. You need to clear the board of pellets or Pac Dots if you prefer. You also need to avoid the ghosts, Blinky, Pinky, Inky & Clyde. However the main goal of Pac-Man is to rack up as high score as possible and just clearing the board will not allow you to do this. In order to get a high score you need to make sure that you eat the ghosts and collect all the fruit and other items as well. The game has a very die hard community of fans who are dedicated to playing a perfect game. In order to play a perfect game of Pac Man you need to eat all the pellets, ghosts, and fruit on each of the 255 screens.
As well as being a tremendously fun game to play, Pac-Man also has some cut scenes as well. These are just amusing little scenes that show Pac-Man interacting with the ghosts in certain ways. These were not only cool to look at, but it also gave players a chance to rest their wrists for a few seconds before the next game board came up.
Current High Score: 3,333,360 By Billy Mitchell, Rick Fothergill, Chris Ayra, Tim Balderramos, Donald Hayes and David Rice
The Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man is noteworthy for being such a poor port of the game. And for the fact that, Atari made more copies of the games than Atari 2600’s had been sold! Their logic was that people would buy an Atari 2600 just so they could play Pac-Man.
Pac-Man would not get officially released for many systems, but many knock off versions of the game would be released.
While Atari had a firm hold of the Pac-Man game in the early 80’s, over the years Pac-Man has been released for many different systems. The game would be followed up by many arcade sequels in the early 80’s with the most notable ones being, Ms Pac-Man & Jr Pac-Man. And the platform game Pac-Land.
As Pac-Man became such a huge pop culture icon he would have just a ton of merchandise made in his image. As well as this he would even get his own Saturday morning cartoon series made.
Pac-man even now is a relevant video game character. The Pac-Man DX games for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 have been a huge hit. And he even starred in spin off games such as the Pac-Man World Trilogy of 3D platform games and the recent Pac-Man & The Ghostly Adventures which also has an animated TV show and a line of toys. Pac-Man has even appeared in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. It’s clear to see that Pac-Man is going to be popular as long as people are still wanting to play video games.