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Pac-Man 256 review

In 1980, Pac-Man took the world by storm, and hasn’t stopped munching those pellets since. Through multiple revisions, from arcade cabinets, games consoles, and various mobile phone titles, Pac-Man has been played anywhere and everywhere… Now, he returns to the Xbox One in Pac-Man 256.

Pac-Man 256 offers the classic Pac-Man gameplay we’re so used to. Guiding the yellow guy around a level, with the goal to pick up all of the pellets whilst trying to dodge those pesky ghosts. 256 takes that base, and gives it a great little twist… Each level is a never-ending run, trying to accumulate as many pellets, and points, as you can without getting caught. Mix in various power pick-ups along the way, such as lasers, tornadoes, stealth, and the ability to make yourself bigger, and things start to get even more interesting. Power ups play a big part of Pac-Man 256, and can take a sinking playthrough to a victorious one. You have the option to choose three different power ups to take into the game with you, which you can change at any point from the main menu. Each of these power ups available to you can also be upgraded with the credits you earn along the way, making them more powerful.

However, your time in Pac-Man 256 is not limited to solo play, and you can grab three other friends for some local fun too. The aim of the multiplayer side is to gain the highest score, and to last the longest. Before long, living room rivalries shall develop, and it’ll feel like you’re huddled around the old arcade cabinet once again. Unfortunately there’s no online multiplayer, which I can completely understand. However you can still vie for top spot amongst your mates with the incredibly well-hidden online leaderboard, which you can only access once you’ve finished a game. It’s also here that you can see your single and local multiplayer stats, such as how many pellets you’ve eaten, which ghosts you’ve eaten the most, and which ghosts have caught you.

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The sights and sounds of Pac-Man 256 are what you’d expect from a Pac-Man game. What I did really like, though, were the various options for stage “skins”. You can change the appearance of the stage into an array of different themes, such as classic Pac-Man, the office, Crossy Road, and more. This adds a bit of variety into the visual aspect, and gives you the opportunity to find the perfect stage for you play on. The accompanying music and sounds are classic Pac-Man, from the ever familiar “wakka wakka”, to the dreaded death whine.

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Overall, Pac-Man 256 is a great little game to pick up and play, whether you have five minutes or 50. The familiar style and gameplay will suit anyone whether they played the original, or are just starting out. It offers an accessible challenge, which with the right strategy can result in fantastic scores, but of course, is met with the peril of completely screwing it up within seconds. Unfortunately the lack of online multiplayer does let it down a little bit, but it’s not a massive drawback.

Pac-Man 256 is now available to download for £3.99 from the Xbox store.

Thanks to Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe & Xbox for supporting TiX.

Gobble up PAC-MAN 256 on Xbox One soon


He’s coming up to 36 years old. 36! Who would have thought that PAC-MAN would have stood the test of time when he was initially conceived way back in 1980? He’s had cartoons, more titles than you can shake a stick at and even a wife with her own spin-off games. Quite a fun-packed ride for such a simple concept.

To coincide with the wee yellow one’s 36th anniversary, Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe are bringing PAC-MAN 256 to Xbox One. This latest version of PAC-MAN is a faithful console representaton of the popular mobile version, even down to the almost infamous “256 Glitch”.

PAC-MAN 256 will feature our little yellow friend with the voracious appetite munching his way through Pac-Dots and Power-Pellets. Even after all this time, he will still need to be nimble enough to avoid the notorious Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. The Xbox One version will allow up to 4 friends playing in a local co-op multiplayer mode. You’ll be nudging each other out of the way to grab a whole host of crazy power-ups though.

Full social sharing will be available in-game as well as 10 unlockable themes.

The game is being developed by 3 Sprockets, developers of Fight the Dragon and Cubemen along with Hipster Whale who are famed for the popular Crossy Road mobile games.

Director at 3 Sprockets; Seon Rozenblum;

We have really enjoyed working with Bandai Namco Entertainment and Hipster Whale on PAC-MAN 256 for mobile, and having the opportunity to ship it on the latest generation of consoles and PC is the icing on the cake for us! We can’t wait to see how much fun players have with it.”

PAC-MAN 256 will be heading to Xbox One on the 21st of June. Here’s a taster of the fun it will bring.