PAC-MAN REMIX is part of a series of “remixed” classic Namco arcade games. These remixed games feature updated graphics, sound, control schemes, gameplay modes, and features. Instead of the usual ghosts-pellets-maze formula, this remixed version throws in boss fights, power-ups, warp tiles, and multiple leveled mazes, not to mention polished up graphics and adjustable difficulty levels.
The graphics are very nice looking. The mazes, ghosts, and Pac-Man himself are smooth and crisp looking three-dimensional models. The pellets float up and down in the mazes, adding to the graphical flair. There are a few new gameplay mechanics added to the classic Pac-Man formula to keep it fresh. When Pac-Man eats a large power pellet, a small timer pops up telling you how much time you have left before the ghosts revert to normal after being edible. There are humorous little cutscenes involving Pac-Man and the ghosts whenever a new gameplay mechanic is introduced, acting as a tutorial. There are springboard tiles in the mazes that give you a rush of speed and allow you to travel right through ghosts. There are also warp tiles that teleport you to different areas within the maze. The environments and mazes change up every stage, adding a little diversity to the Pac-Man level design. Every few mazes, there are boss battles where you face off against gigantic ghosts. The objective of these boss battles is to try to collect the power pellets on screen to break up the big ghost into several smaller edible blue ghosts. When all the smaller ghosts have been devoured, you may continue to the next stage.
The difficulty of PAC-MAN REMIX borders on the easy side, but difficulty and number of lives are adjustable in the options. The game seems short, which for the price, should be a little longer. Another gripe I have about the game is only having one save file. A friend wanted to try it out so I started a new game, then later found out I was unable to continue where I last left off, but back to the first world where they had stopped playing. The game has two different control schemes- both of which are terrible. The primary control method is a arrow pad placed at the bottom center of the screen, with the left, down, and right buttons in a row, and the up button above the down. This creates a problem, and it is hard to get an accurate response out of Pac-Man. They would have done better to place a small control pad on the left or right side of the screen instead of the middle. The other control scheme involves flicking the screen to move Pac-Man, but I find it’s even more unresponsive than the directional pad. One more gripe is there is no option to listen to music stored on your iPhone while playing the game. The in game music can start to drive you crazy after a while.
PAC-MAN REMIX comes really close to being a fun game. Namco, take notice and release an update to fix the problems that hold it back from becoming truly enjoyable. An new control scheme, as well as more mazes and multiple save files would have made the game much more playable and saved it from mediocrity.