Pac the Man 2, by McSebi
Posted: 28-Jan-2004

4 1/2 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: McSebi Type: FREEWARE

Reviewer: Steve Nickerson Class: GAMES
     
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Overview
Pac the Mac 2 is a Mac only version of the original Pac Man arcade game. It includes both Pac Man and Miss Pac Man versions of the game. This fun game is free to download, easy to install and supports Mac OS 8.6, 9.x and 10.x including Panther. This review was conducted both on Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) running on a 600Mhz iBook as well as Mac OS 9.2, running on a G3 Tower.

Download and Installation
This game is available on the McSebi website at
www.mcsebi.com. There are two main versions for the Mac. "Pac the Man 2, v1.0.4" which supports MacOS 8.6, 9.2 and 10.x. The other version for slower, Classic Macs is "Pac the Man 1, v4.5.1". The download consists of a 1.6 mb compressed .sit file and there is no installation. Once downloaded and uncompressed, the game is ready to be played. Pac the Man 2 is Mac OS X native.

Game Options
Pac the Man 2 is a copy of one of the best and most loved arcade games, Pac Man. The game play seems to be very close if not identical to the original Pac Man game.

There are 25 different levels, 3 difficulty settings, 4 crazy ghosts, 2 hungry heroes and lots of good things to eat! This game allows 1 player or 2 simultaneous players.

Some sample screen shots (from
McSebi's download page):

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After starting the game, there are several options to choose from, as well a good selection of preferences. You are able to select a one or two player game as well as selecting between the original Pac Man or Miss Pac Man versions of the game. You can also view high scores and select preferences. There are several options grayed out including trying a certain level and creating levels, but I was unable to get these to show. This may because there are requirements that need to be met prior to these options becoming available.

The preferences include three tabs general, controls and audio. The general tab allow you to clear high scores, allows you to select whether or not the game will ask you about screen resolution when it starts, asks for level file (standard) and allows you for difficulty of the game (easy, normal, hard). It was unclear as to what the level file option did, as selecting this pull-down did not show any additional options and only served to turn on-off the check box.

The control tab allows you set which keys will be used for each of the two players. The default is to use the arrow keys for player 1 and the keypad 4,5,6 and 8 keys for player 2. It seems that these defaults are easy enough to use and provide good control over the game. There was no reason to change these setting during play.

The audio tab allows you to select the sound and music levels, as well as pick your choice of 4 different musical options in addition to random. These musical selections include PacManiac, PacDreamer, Pacland and Looping Back. While these are all fun to listen to for awhile, turning them off is also a nice option that the game provides. The sounds of the moving characters and background music appear to be very close to the original.

The graphics are very well done and include all kinds of transparency effects, great stereo sound effects and several musical selections by which to play the game. New bonus levels enable the player to move faster, become invincible and more.

Game Play
Game play is as you would expect for a clone of the Pac Man arcade game. Everything seemed to work as in the arcade game. The game essentially consists of moving around the screen eating as many of the dots as possible and avoiding being eaten by the ghosts. When you eat one of the flashing dots you become invincible for a short period of time, as which point you can eat the ghosts as well. Each level has a different maze to navigate and has the locations of the flashing dots in different places. During this review, only the first few levels were completed (admittedly due to my lack of skill!), so there are probably many more interesting versions as the levels are completed.

One difference between an arcade version and a computer version is that the arcade provides custom control knobs designed for the game. On the Mac, for most users, you have the keyboard, which does not provide the same control or ergonomics.

Summary
This is a great game, fun and easy to use, and free. That's always a winning combination. With the addition of a joystick or mouse control and some understanding of the preferences, this easily would get a 5 mice rating. In any case, this is a gem of a software title, and truly belongs on every Mac.

Pros

  • Easy to download, easy to install and easy to play
  • Excellent quality graphics
  • Many different variations on the maze
  • 25 levels of play, 3 difficulty levels
  • Musical options and sound controls
  • Good re-creation of the original Pac Man arcade game
  • FREE


Cons

  • A little difficult to use the keyboard controls, especially when things get moving really fast
  • Noticed a slight delay in starting the game on the G3 tower running 9.2


Overall Rating

4 1/2 out of 5 Mice