Who doesn’t know one of the most classic arcade game ever developed, Pac-Man? The game that was created by Toru Iwatani back at 1980 is immensely popular, from its original release to the present day. Pac-Man is often credited with being a landmark in video game history.
However, that amazing records and achievements wasn’t flawless. As a matter of fact, Pac-Man has a famous glitch that called as split-screen level. This glitch, has prevented Pac-Man from being completely finished. It occurs in the 256th level where it will cause an overflow mess of letters and numbers in just one side of the screen (that’s why it’s called split-screen).
A glitch, that’s supposedly couldn’t give any advantage is smartly used by the guys from Crossy Road developer, Hipster Whale. Unsurprisingly, this glitch is used as the main character of the latest spin-off for Pac-Man, it’s called Pac-Man 256. Hipster Whale is not alone. Hipster Whale have a handful hands of 3 Sprockets of Cubemen fame and Bandai Namco, has produced the old fantastic experience of playing this classic game, now with mobile experience.
Pac-Man 256: The Premise
It is basically the Pac-Man that we all know and loved, but with a touch of Crossy Road in it. You will be playing as the Pac-Man and will try to control it through a maze while eating pac-dots. Since it has a touch of Crossy Road in it, instead of changing level when you eat all the pac-dots, you will have an endless pac-dots in front of you.
You will still have the four colourful ghosts that’s ready to chase and eat you. Blinky, Pinky, Spunky, Sue, Funky, Glitchy, Inky, and Clyde have ready to welcome you. Unlike the old Pac-Man where there only be one unique Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde at a level, in Pac-Man 256, you will be encountering more than eight ghosts at the same time. Not only just the ghosts that will chase you. The glitch will also try to consume you, just like the eagle from Crossy Road. The different is that, you will have more time to pause and think before this glitch consumes your freedom.
Pac-Man 256: The Gameplay
The objective of Pac-Man 256 is also the same as Crossy Road, to gain as much score as possible, that is. To get a high score there are several things that you can do. The most basic thing is by eating pac-dots. By eating these pac-dots, you will be getting some points. If you can eat these pac-dots continuously without stopping, until 256 times, you will get multiplier and bonus as well. Eating fruits will also earn you some free multiplier. The rarer the fruit that you ate, the more multiplier you’ll able to get.
Not only eating fruits and pac-dots will give you points. Eating the enemies just like the classic Pac-Man will also earn you some points. Of course there will be power pellets as usual that you need to eat first in order for you to eat the enemies. However, not only power pellets. In Pac-Man 256, there are also power ups that will enable you to eliminate the enemies.
These power ups are spread like the fruits in the map. These power ups can be unlocked when you have eaten a certain amount of pac-dots. Once you’ve unlocked the power up, you can bring them with you into the maze. However, you’re only allowed to bring maximum three power-ups. But whenever you pick this power-up you will have a really nice tool to beat the ghosts up.
Pac-Man 256 uses energy system. Each time you play, an energy will be used. First time you die, you will be offered to be resurrected and continue your game at the cost of one energy. You can also play without energy with the cost of no power up available inside the maze. This will come in handy if you just want to have a fun session, just to finish the achievements.
Pac-Man 256 is a swipe-based game. You will have two screen perspective just like Crossy Road, landscape and portrait. To move Pac-Man you can swipe up, left, right, and down. You will only need to swipe once and the Pac-Man will be moving on their own.
Things I Like
Pac-Man 256 and Hipster Whale to my opinion has brought a really solid gameplay. It doesn’t get too easy or too hard. Getting 256 is not that impossible, making this game is suitable for every gender and age, just like the old Pac-Man tries to aim.
I also love the iteration that’ve been made by the guys. By adding an endless maze, anybody would be feeling challenged to beat other friends score. Not only that, by putting a character inside the ghosts also creates a tactical situation where I need to plan my move beforehand.
Tips and Tricks
Pac-Man 256 can get a little bit trickier if you don’t know some of these tricks that I’m about to share. Perhaps, if you’ve known all these tricks already, and still have something under your sleeve, please feel free to drop me some email.
This is the tips to get you a high score and beat all your friends. So here’s the breakdown of the things that can get you some nice score.
Eating a single ghost in power pellet mode awards 10 points. Ghosts’ point values increase by 10 for each one you eat on a single pellet. So the second ghost you eat awards 20 points, third is 30 points, tenth is 100 points, etc.
The normal pac-dots inside the maze are worth one point. Whenever you reach 16 pac-dots without breaking the chain, you will get extra 16 points. Then, for each 16 points you will get bonus. For instance, once you’ve reached 32 chain, you will earn extra 32 points, and so on.
This is the largest point possible. Once you reach 256, the maze will flashes and all the visible ghosts will be destroyed. Then your chain will be reset to one again.
To know if you’ve broken the chain is when you miss a pac-dot in the maze. It will appear as a yellow number where the chain was broken. Then your next number will be reset to one again.
Fruits are one of the main source of points in Pac-Man 256. Whenever you eat a piece of fruit, whatever you do next, whether eat pac-dots or eating ghosts, its point will be multiplied depending on what fruit you ate and as long as the effect still active.
So for instance, if you eat a cherry, everything else that you eat afterwards will be awarded with 2x of its normal points. Ghosts will be worth 20 instead of 10, pac-dots will be worth two points instead of one, etc. Bottomline, try to eat fruit whenever you see it. Beside giving multiplier that will boost your points, eating fruit also gives point reward to you.
My tips is to try to eat fruit before eating power pellet so that your scoring method will become more efficient.
Ghosts are also playing an important part, because when you know how the ghost works, you know how to avoid them. You know how to not putting yourself in a less favourable situation. Without further ado, this is the list of the ghosts.
- Blinky: Blinky is the red ghost and the smartest among them all. It won’t be easy for Mr. Pac-Man to outrun this ghost. However, his speed is the same as Pac-Man, so to avoid him, you need to do a lot of sudden turns.
- Pinky: Pinky is the pink ghost and the fastest among all the ghosts. Pinky will stands in place until you’re entering her line of sight. To avoid Pinky, make sure you turn a corner when she’s giving a chase. You really don’t want to continue in the same straightway as Pinky since she’s definitely faster than you.
- Spunky: Spunky is the grey and the most sleepy head among the ghosts. He will always be taking a nap. He will only wake up if you’re near him. His speed is the same with Pac-Man, so you don’t need to be afraid, just make sure you outrun him.
- Clyde and Inky: Clyde and Inky are ghosts that moving in patterns. Clyde that’s the orange ghost will be moving vertically. Inky, the blue ghost, will be moving in circle in a certain area. So if you notice one of these ghosts, you can avoid them with ease just by knowing their movement patterns.
- Sue and Funky: Just like Clyde and Inky, Sue and Funky also are ghosts that moving in patterns. However, they tend to move in a group. Usually, there are three to four ghosts walking toward the same direction in this group. Purple one and moving in horizontal line is Sue, and the green one with vertical movement is Funky. Both of these ghosts will be like patrolling corridors. Both of them also able to sense Mr. Pac-Man from long afar and will be able to intercept Pac-Man’s movement.
- Glitchy: Glitchy is the ultimate ghost in this game. He will initiate his movement with a glitch in the maze. Once he finishes initialising, he will become a ghost that can move like either Blinky, Spunky, or Pinky. Moreover, it can also disappear suddenly from the maze, making it a little bit harder to kill.
Power-ups are also essential parts of the game. There are 16 different power-ups in Pac-Man 256 that you’ll unlock by playing the game and eating pellets. However, since you’re only allowed to bring only three power-ups, you might want to consider which power-up you should upgrade.
Once you’ve unlocked enough power-ups, you will realize that many of the later power-up unlocks are improved versions of earlier powers. For example, Optics is working exactly the same and even a better version of Laser. That’s why, you need to consider yourself before putting a lot of coins on one power-ups. But then, one or two upgrades for early power-ups won’t hurt you at all. Extending its duration by a second or two could make the power-up more useful.
To conclude this tips, I’d like to also put some general tips that I’ve found can be helpful in optimising the way we play Pac-Man 256.
- Leave out the coins. Don’t put yourself in a trouble just because you find a coin in your journey. Coins don’t give anything to your score, and multipliers also don’t apply to coins. So if you encounter coins, try to ignore them, especially when there are too many ghosts around.
- Play without power-ups. This mode is the other mode that’s available without any energy required. This mode somehow also seems easier to me to reach 256 chain, so you might want to consider trying this mode to get a good score on your board.
Hipster Whale has done it again. After a huge success in their Crossy Road game, I think that Pac-Man 256 has a huge potential to repeat its predecessor again. While it doesn’t become a breakthrough it this industry, it certainly is redefining how you play Pac-Man in a whole new level.