Ms. Pac-Man Review

Are you dying to play some more Ms. Pac-Man? If so, then pick this up, but keep in mind that it's a very barebones emulation of the original game.

Ms. Pac-Man is the lady-friendly follow-up to Pac-Man. It's the same basic dot-chomping, maze-navigating concept, but it's expanded. There are now multiple mazes, the fruit hops around, and the cutscenes are slightly more elaborate. Oh, and Ms. Pac-Man has a bow on her head. Like the other Namco releases for Xbox Live Arcade, Ms. Pac-Man is a straight-up emulation of the original game with no additions beyond an online scoreboard, some achievements, and colorful side graphics that surround the emulation. If the idea of a bare-bones emulation of Ms. Pac-Man sounds like it's worth five bucks to you, then you're in luck. But the standards for Xbox Live Arcade are a bit higher than what this game offers.

Ms. Pac-Man proves that women can eat ghosts just as well as men can.
Ms. Pac-Man proves that women can eat ghosts just as well as men can.

Most of the achievements are easy to earn because of the game's built-in level skip, which lets you start a game at any level you've previously played. So reaching level 21 is really just a matter of perseverance, not skill. The lone tough achievement requires you to eat 16 ghosts in one level, which means each time you eat a power pellet, you'll have to eat all four ghosts. That's not easy. Like in Pac-Man before it, the controls in the Xbox 360 version of Ms. Pac-Man don't feel quite right. The D pad doesn't feel responsive enough, and it's easy to miss turns. When you're trying to bang out patterns or stay one length ahead of the ghosts that are out to eat you, these mistakes make a huge difference.

But beyond those control issues, this is a fine emulation of a classic arcade game. If that's all you're looking for, you'll find it here. But when you consider that most other classic arcade games on Xbox Live Arcade are receiving more substantial updates and options, such as online play or optional graphical updates, Ms. Pac-Man feels a bit flat by comparison.

The Good

  • Talking about this game opens up a world of potential <i>Wayne's World</i> quotes

The Bad

  • Very plain presentation with no meaningful additions to the original game
  • unresponsive controls

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About the Author

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

Ms. Pac-Man

First Released Dec 31, 1982
  • Android
  • Apple II
  • Arcade Games
  • Atari 2600
  • Atari 5200
  • Atari 7800
  • Atari 8-bit
  • BlackBerry
  • Commodore 64
  • Dedicated Console
  • Game Boy
  • GameGear
  • Genesis
  • iOS (iPhone/iPad)
  • Lynx
  • Mobile
  • NES
  • PC
  • PlayStation 4
  • Sega Master System
  • Sinclair ZX81/Spectrum
  • Super Nintendo
  • TI-99/4A
  • VIC-20
  • Windows Mobile
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One

The only major detriment of Ms. Pac-Man on mobile is that you can, for only a little more money, play Ms. Pac-Man for Prizes--the same game with additional benefits.


Average Rating

1367 Rating(s)

Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
Kids to Adults
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