Namco Networks has just recently created a branch specifically for making iPhone games. This seems to be one of their first releases, and I must say it is pretty impressive. A lot of their other remixes like Galaga weren’t as great as I thought they would be with either bad controls or ugly user interface. Although Pac-Man Remix still needs some work in its interface, the controls work pretty well, and I found myself enjoying the game more and more as I fought through each level.
Remixed: When it says Pac-Man Remix, they really mean ‘remix’. Namco did a great job with adding a lot of new stuff that wasn’t in the original Pac-Man, and I personally enjoyed the new look and powerups. The game is a lot more complicated than it used to be, and your strategy has to be a little bit more than running away.
Powerups and Items: Pac-Man Remix features tons and tons of little powerups and items to help you along the way. For example, there is a little speed arrow that stuns a ghost when you hit them and doors to block the ghost’s path. Other powerups include teleporting and of course, the big yellow ball that makes it so that you can eat the little ghouls.
Sounds: One thing I really liked about Pac-Man Remix was the sounds. The sounds were accurate and clear, and they just sounded really nice with the game. The background music isn’t annoying, and the Pac-Man noise doesn’t bother me at all. The sound produced when pressing a menu button is nice and clear, and response was great. I’m not sure if Namco focused on the sounds, but they did a really nice job with them.
Controls: I really, really, really like the controls in this game. Most of Namco’s games failed in controls, and the original Pac-Man in the App Store was hard to control even though it did have 2 or 3 control methods. Although Pac-Man Remix uses only 2 control types, the onscreen d-pad and swiping the finger both worked really well. The d-pad is big enough for ham hands to play, and the overall touch area of the d-pad is greatly improved.
User Interface: Namco still needs to work on the interface. When first opening the game, you’re introduced to a moving Pac-Man background along with some ugly, orange buttons. The font used in this game is also a little pixelated, which is somewhat awkward in a “remixed” game. This has been a problem in almost all of Namco’s iPhone games, and sadly, Pac-Man Remix follows that path.
Expensive: For $5.99, I can get 6 other iPhone games instead of paying for one. Also, most of Namco’s remixes feature the original and classic versions of the game. It would have been nice if the game was around $2.99-$4.99, but Namco is known for charging pretty high for their games.
Pac-Man Remix is a wonderful improvement from the classic Pac-Man with some great twists and turns. Although it is a little expensive for the average iPhone user, the game delivers some solid gameplay. If you already have the Pac-Man classic though, it’s a little hard to recommend this game also. Usually, Namco’s remixes consist of the remix and classic versions, and paying $5.99 for only the remix version is a little too much. If you don’t have Pac-Man classic though, this is a great game to satisfy your Pac-Man needs. This game along with Space Invaders Infinity Gene are retro classics done right, but again, I can’t really recommend this game to users who already have the original version.