After 33 years, Pac-Man is now free!
It only took 33 years, but at long last Pac-Man, the classic video game which was first launched as an arcade machine game in 1980, is free to play on Android. The game’s owners Namco have made Pac-Man + Tournaments free on Google Play. The app, which includes the classic Pac-Man maze and ghosts, also features a tournament mode with new mazes and rankings.
Essentially, Namco has chosen to go down the freemium route. The classic version of Pac-Man is the bait and once in, the hook is the tournaments with its new mazes and dozens of new bonus items to gobble. Tournaments last 7 days and at the end of each one Namco will release a new maze. Playing a tournament costs one token which can be bought in-app. Ten tokens costs $0.99, 25 costs $1.99 and so on, right up to 3500 tokens for $99.99!
Gameplay is easy enough, swiping anywhere on the screen causes the Pac-Man to start chomping in a new direction. The swipes can also be slightly preemptive which means the Pac-Man will turn when possible.
Although Pac-Man +Tournaments will make its way onto iOS, at the moment it is an Android exclusive. According to Namco, Android is the biggest OS in terms of installed base and the company hopes the game will benefit from increased visibility with Android users.
Pac-Man has been with us for quite a while, it survived the shift to consoles (I remember playing it on my Atari 2600), stayed with us through the PC era and now it has found a niche in the micro-transaction world of freemium playing.
So if you want to be transported back to 1980 or if you want to know what it was like to play video games from the days when Back to the Future was a new film, then head over to the Play Store and grab yourself a copy… You won’t regret it!