At, least, not anymore. There are new genres. Quality, console -level experiences are becoming more and more mobile. Mobile gaming transcends generations. Games can be be big business — and the reverse can be equally true. In the end, with regards to mobile gaming, I have learned to never say “never,” and to keep an open mind, because things change. Heck, my likes change on a weekly basis. Games I like today may not catch as much of my fantasy next week.
One thing that will probably remain unchanged for me is my fascination with Pac-Man.
The reasons are numerous, I guess. It was a game I literally grew up with. It showed me — and the rest of the world — that there was indeed life beyond space shooters. It gave me a reason to save pennies. I learned everything I know about smack talking due to it.
It has graced us in many, many forms and spin-offs since its debut, and with PAC-MAN Bounce, Bandai Namco manages to hit us up with yet another made for the small-small screen of one’s mobile device.
This one gets played in landscape, and visually, presents a colorful, varied experience. We do get the diversity of hues we’d expect, but it is a decidedly more modern representation of the classic. A lot of the characters are familiar, starting with are hero, and the animations are generally straightforward. The sound is especially cheerful, and shamelessly reminiscent of the original.
The gameplay is quite different from the arcade version; this one employs a leveled progression that requires success in one to unlock a subsequent level. In each level, there are three starts and a key. The main idea is to consume the key, and consuming the stars earns extra credit.
A main tool to effect this are direction arrows. Some can be turned to redirect PM to a desired direction. He also bounces of solid walls. Thus, the idea is to use fixed and movable arrows to get the key, and if possible, the three stars and move on.
The playing areas do evolve with complexity, with gaps, ghosts, red herrings and more; even the elements (like arrows) become a bit more interactive. Down the road, the game even plays more like the original, with deviously moving enemies.It is interesting fare, with plenty of mind-bending puzzles. Levels can be retried, but there is an energy requirement that can be overcome by patience and/or real cash.
Altogether, a cool adventure that is easily consumed in small morsels.
Thanks to Bandai Namco, you can now play Pac-Man Championship Edition DX right on your mobile.
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is the very same game you played on console with all the fancy visuals and audio intact. It’s been optimised for shorter playing sessions though so you can still get in a quick game on your coffee break.
Apart from that, nothing has changed. You’ll still need reflexes of the gods to devour all pellets, power-ups, and ghosts in your way as you launch up the leaderboards.
There are five different game modes and 10 unique zone layouts to play them on. It’s chock full of content, with over 130 stages to complete as well.
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX received universal acclaim when it launched on console and has gotten off to a strong start on mobile as it’s currently being featured on the App Store.
If you want to check it out for yourself, head on over to the App Store or Google Play where it’s available as a premium app for Â£2.29 / $4.99 right now.
This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners.
I feel like I’m going to travel down into the mines myself any minute now. The number of games that have something to do with taking rocks out of Earth’s crust, and that I’ve written reviews for, will soon become immeasurable. And it’s not like I’m a fan of this. My ancestors must have been some sort of miners, since I have this strange attraction to the mining games. Hope some of them were ninjas, too, as Ninja Miner is also about that.
Ninja Miner is a very simple arcade at heart. The hero, not surprisingly, is a ninja miner, who collects precious stones and golden stars, scattered across many levels. The levels are all squarely tiled, and walled in. The miner is controlled by four arrows. He doesn’t move around, but rather, jumps between opposing walls. Probably due to his kneecaps being crushed by a bat as a child, he isn’t able to move differently, so you can’t move him around normally. The whole game is built around this restriction, and the player needs to be aware of his surroundings, in order to evade hazards and enemies, but pick up the gems and stars. Sometimes, there’s also a key or a pickaxe that needs to be picked, in order to move through different parts of the level, but Ninja Miner is generally pretty straightforward. Not easy, but straightforward.
Although Ninja Miner seems a bit cheap at first, there’s a lot of fun behind the primitive idea. The game has parts where fast reaction is required, and it also has parts where the player needs to carefully evaluate his moves. It seems a bit cheap at first, yes. But this feeling quickly moves to the background, and the game engages the player in its gameplay pretty fast. Although the idea of Ninja Miner is quite an old one, the execution is still important, and I think that Ninja Miner nails it pretty nicely.
With school being in very foreseeable future for some, and already an unchangeable actuality for others, here’s a game that will be a great teaching addition to all the children, as well as Twitter users. Alphaman is an arcade game that looks sort of like Pac-man, but is actually an educating tool that teaches spelling. Release details and spelling difficulty are yet unknown, but there is a teaser that is available below.
Pac-Man has gone free to play. Namco has announced Pac-Man +Tournaments for Google Play. Players get to play through the standard Pac-Man mazes, including some brand new designs. The classic mode is completely free to play, with some daily free play options, though there’s definitely opportunities to spend money. Just like the classic arcade games, it’s going to beg for quarters, though at least you don’t have to put a quarter in to start playing! Still, history repeats itself, and we’re still playing Pac-Man decades later.
Players will compete for spots on the leaderboards and try to unlock achievements, plus there’s the chance to win real prizes. Want to win plush ghosts? Go for it! Just don’t expect them to be edible, even if you take power pellets beforehand. Pac-Man +Tournaments is available now for free on Google Play, which is an Android-exclusive launch.
Recently, I was offered the chance to try out a new product from the folks at ThinkGeek.com. It’s a small attachment for your Android or iOS device called the JOYSTICK-IT, a solid aluminum arcade stick that you can easily attach and remove by suction cup without causing any harm to your screen. It’s designed to give you more tactile control over your touch-screen based games.
The way it works is through the spongy, wire mesh at the bottom of the stick, completing the circuit between the capacitive touch-screen and your finger tips. By rocking the stick in any direction, the mesh touches those points of the screen and works just as well as if you weren’t using the stick at all. It’s a simple concept that works pretty darn well with any game that offers a directional pad/analog stick control scheme. Where the JOYSTICK-IT really shines, though, is old-school, arcade games — Pac-Man, Frogger, etc. For reviewing purposes, I used the JOYSTICK-IT with a couple of my old favorites: Meganoid, Grow and a few classic console emulators.
Even though Meganoid only offers left and right controls on the directional pad, the JOYSTICK-IT easily fits between them. Grow is a little tougher, however. It was actually a little harder to dial in the precision controls required to outmaneuver some of the faster fish. In this case, I actually preferred using the touch-screen as is, completely negating the desired effect of the JOYSTICK-IT. As for the emulators I tried, it certainly gave me back the level of control I’ve been missing, although it’s hard to say it was an improvement over more traditional, hardware based directional pads and buttons.
The main downfall of the JOYSTICK-IT is that, while the tiny suction cup has quite a bit of grip to it, it tends to pop right off if you get too aggressive with it. Because of this, it’s hard for me to recommend the JOYSTICK-IT as anything more than a gimmick, a pure novelty. You’ll also want to be wary of games with “floating” controls as they tend to center where ever the JOYSTICK-IT first touches the screen. If you can, set the controls to a permanent spot to get the most out of the JOYSTICK-IT.
At $17.99 for the mobile phone version, while the construction feels solid, the price is way too high for what little it offers. You can buy a larger version for tablets at $24.99 (or get a 2 pack for $39.99). I haven’t tried the larger version, but I can assume the larger surface area of the suction cup would make for a much better grip. Either way, it just doesn’t appear worth the money, to me.
The idea and concept behind the JOYSTICK-IT is a sound one, even if the execution leaves me a bit wanting. While it’s still attached, it’s a great little device that really gives you back that feeling of control you’ve been missing from most touch-screen based games. Everything from dual analog stick shooters to classic arcade games and emulators for console games of yesterday greatly benefit from having this little gizmo seated firmly between your fingers. But, then, as soon as you get into it, it pops right off and you’re left back at square one. My advice is to avoid the JOYSTICK-IT. Again, great idea, but not enough improvement over existing conditions to make it truly useful.
Reviewing Pac-Man is kind of like reviewing Pong: If you havenâ€™t played it yet or arenâ€™t familiar with it, you probably arenâ€™t even reading this right now, let alone have an Android phone. But Pac-Man Championship Edition does have enough interesting qualities to it that it merits a review and your consideration, regardless of whether or not youâ€™re a hardcore Pac-Man fan.
The basics of Pac-Man still exists in this game. Your goal is to eat the PAC-Dots and the Bonus Items while avoiding the Ghosts until you eat a Power-Pellet, then theyâ€™re free game. Every 20,000 points earns you a bonus life and the more points you earn without dying, the faster Pac-Man travels. Whatâ€™s different about this version is that there arenâ€™t exactly levels like in the traditional game. There are three different game options: Championship Mode, Challenge Mode (1,2), and Extra Mode (1,2,3). To win each mode, youâ€™ll have to survive for either 5 or 10 minutes and rack of as many points as you possibly can.