Pac-Man Pinball Hands-On

We bring you hands-on impressions of the version of Pac-Man Pinball available for play at the Game Developers Conference.

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Game Developers Conference, San Francisco--Pac-Man cabinets and pinball tables have occupied a lot of common space over the years and have even been occasionally combined in a series of Game Boy titles. The early mobile version of Pac-Man Pinball we played continues this legacy but will need more work before it's ready for prime time.

The game takes place on a single board, bedecked with familiar Pac-Man imagery. Apart from its mustard-hued palette, there's nothing particularly remarkable about the table. What is unusual is the way the pinball seemed to adhere to portions of the board and to the paddles. It acted like a hyperactively bouncy, sticky rubber ball--the type found in 25-cent toy dispensers.

The game furthermore ran at an unreasonably rapid speed. In stark contrast to most commercially available pinball machines, Pac-Man pinball is not to be enjoyed in combination with alcoholic beverages. The table is broken into two screens, and we found the shift between these especially jarring.

As Pac-Man Pinball is already commercially available in Japan, albeit on different handsets, it's unlikely it will arrive in a drastically different form than what we saw at GDC.

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