Pac-Man Review

If you're absolutely riddled with Pac-Man fever, this game is for you, but if you're anything less than fiendish in your desire to play Pac-Man, then take a pass.

Pac-Man is one of the greatest games of all time, and it's difficult to dispute that fact. But if you're just now getting around to checking out this 1980 arcade hit, you might not immediately get why Pac-Man was such a big deal in the first place. And with its bare-bones, stick-to-the-script presentation and some nagging control issues, this Xbox Live Arcade version of Pac-Man manages to be a little disappointing, even if (or perhaps, especially if) you're already a fan.

I'm gonna eat them all up just as soon as they turn blue.
I'm gonna eat them all up just as soon as they turn blue.

On the surface, this is a really accurate version of Namco's arcade hit. All of the graphics and sound seem to be perfectly intact, and little tricks, like the way you can hide out in the spot just up and to the right from your starting position, are there, too. Unfortunately, the game is brought down a bit by some less-than-ideal control options. The D pad doesn't seem responsive enough, making it easy to miss turns, and the analog stick is too touchy, which, incidentally, also makes it easy to miss turns. This can be awfully frustrating, especially at the higher levels. Reaching those higher levels is a snap, because you can start a new game at any stage you've previously reached, which makes the majority of the achievement points very easy to get, as well.

Your only option for interaction with other players comes from the scoreboard. While other Xbox Live Arcade developers have shoehorned some interesting and weird multiplayer modes into classic arcade games, Pac-Man is only Pac-Man, the one-player game.

For many players, a nearly arcade-perfect version of Pac-Man is more than enough to warrant a purchase, especially considering the game runs for 400 points, or $5. But the control issues get in the way more than they should, so if you aren't already some kind of crazed Pac-Man fiend on the hunt for yet another version of Pac-Man, you should probably take a pass on this one. Additionally, there's an unlockable version of Pac-Man available in Ridge Racer 6, so it's possible that you may already own a copy of Pac-Man that works on your 360.

The Good
Online leaderboards make it finally possible to see if you can match Billy Mitchell without the hassle of finding an American Flag tie
Nice-looking cabinet graphics
The Bad
Controller can't handle turns as well as it needs to
Stage select makes achievement points too easy
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Pac-Man

About the Author

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

Pac-Man More Info

  • First Released October 1980
    • Android
    • Apple II
    • + 30 more
    • Arcade Games
    • Atari 2600
    • Atari 5200
    • Atari 8-bit
    • BlackBerry
    • Commodore 64
    • Famicom Disk System
    • Game Boy
    • Game Boy Advance
    • Game Boy Color
    • GameGear
    • Intellivision
    • iOS (iPhone/iPad)
    • Macintosh
    • Mobile
    • MSX
    • NEC PC88
    • NEC PC98
    • Neo Geo Pocket Color
    • NES
    • PC
    • PlayStation 4
    • Sharp X1
    • Sharp X68000
    • Sinclair ZX81/Spectrum
    • TI-99/4A
    • VIC-20
    • Windows Mobile
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    As one of the most famous games of all time, Pac-Man was one of the first games to inspire a flood of licensed products, including breakfast cereal, toys, and a Saturday morning cartoon.
    Average Rating3439 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Namco Networks America, Atari, Namco, Roklan, Bandai Namco Games, Designer Software, Namco Bandai Games, SPS, K- Byte
    Published by:
    Namco Networks America, Namco, Bandai Namco Games, Namco Bandai Games, Atari, Bootleg, Midway, Atari Corporation, Polyvox, Thunder Mountain, Nintendo, Acclaim, Bug-Byte, Sharp-Epcom, Dempa Shinbunsha, Wiz, SNK, HES Interactive, Tengen, Big Fish Games, Sharp, AtariSoft
    Arcade, Action
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.