At the Namco booth over at NYCC, I had the opportunity to interview Benjamin Acevedo, the producer for the upcoming Pac-Man Championship Edition DX for iOS and Android. During my time checking out the hands-on demo he showcased, he showed that everything fans loved about the console edition released back in 2010 would translate perfectly to iOS. All the original game and audio files are 100% intact, assuring fans won’t get a gimped out version of the game.
While showing the demo, there were some notable additions that add to the quicker pickup-and-play nature of the game while on-the-go. There is an entire world map, filled with specific stipulations that must be completed to advance to the next level. Within those are also Challenge Stages that will provide much more difficult objectives to complete for a level. When the game was running on-screen (displayed on an iPad mini), it looked stunning. The visuals are just as smooth and vibrant as they are on consoles and the swipe controls look incredibly responsive.
The big surprise about the upcoming release was the fact that it’s going to be a free-to-play title for everyone. Pac-Man is approaching his 35th anniversary this March and the folks over at Namco wanted to really get the ball rolling by starting to celebrate the iconic video game character’s history. Naturally, with it being free-to-play, you can expect the fact that you have a set amount of lives to play and once you’re out, you’ll have to wait a bit before you can play again, unless of course you buy the “premium version” which Ben mentioned as an option. You could even use in-game coins to purchase higher capacities for lives and bombs (which were used to clear ghosts away from you if things got out of control). The game will have all the original modes and levels from the console edition, aside from the additions mentioned.
Ben also showed off a fun little Pac-Man title which recently released on iOS called Pac-Man Friends. This puts a fun twist on the Pac-Man formula having you control both Pac-Man and one of his friends simultaneously in a small stage where you must guide them both to safety. The interesting element was that every one of Pac-Man’s friends has a unique ability, whether it be one that’s invisible to ghosts, while another grows bigger after each pellet eaten. Each stage has 3 objectives to aim for, some of which will really challenge players tremendously.
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is slated for release on the iOS and Android this December, so stay tuned! In the meantime, those who are interested in Pac-Man Friends can check that out on both iOS and Android devices right now. Feel free to also check the video showing off both games below.