Pac Pix #1 Review Nintendo DS Review
We all know and love the pill popping, monster munching little yellow ball that is Pac-Man. Now meet his crazy scribbled alter ego. Using your Picasso skills (or not as the case maybe) Pac-man takes a new approach in this fast, but not quite furious little game from Namco.
Simple. A word that describes the look of this game well. From the cute monsters to the plain back grounds, the graphics are nothing less than simple I’m afraid. Nothing fancy, and definitely nothing that pushes the hardware to any extent. Though to be fair they do what’s required of them in a game where gameplay is God.
You see its in the gameplay that you get so engrossed, you don’t care about how the game looks. You don’t care for the cartoon monster characters on white backgrounds. You’re too busy drawing pac-man, too busy telling him where to go, too busy negating obstacles and plotting your course to complete your tasks within the set time limits. This new gameplay style is new, fresh, engrossing and makes you feel part of the game.
So how do you play I hear you ask? After drawing your Pac-man (which can be as big or small as you wish, the smaller you go the faster he goes, the bigger you draw the slower he goes) he moves along across the screen in the direction your drawing faces, happily munching away on thin air, until he comes across a cute little cartoony monster he can gobble up and build up your points total. By drawing lines in his path you can dictate his direction of travel; the direction you draw the line from start to finish is the direction he heads. It can get quite confusing drawing lines that only last a few seconds to get round obstacles and capture monsters trying to avoid you. You also need to avoid going off screen, which if you do, you need to draw a new Pac-man. But this all adds to the fun and gets more complex as you go along.
There are a series of chapters and at the end of some you will face a Boss character. Here you’ll need to use all your newly developed skills to beat them. Occasionally you’ll learn new commands to draw on screen to carry out certain special abilities (which I won’t spoil).
That word again, “simple”, ditty tunes that actually have you reaching for that volume slide and turning it the wrong way. The tunes could have been much better, but the game itself doesn’t really call for big sound. There’s no scope for big sound effects in gobbling monsters and eating fruit and you’ll find yourself busy watching what’s going on, on-screen and plotting ahead to worry about the sounds.
So the graphics are simple, the sound can be annoying, but the gameplay is good, so surely they added something else to keep you going and wanting to come back to get value for your money? Sorry to disappoint you guys and gals but even I finished this game within a couple of days (and that was taking my time). There is an incentive to try and beat your top scores on each of the chapters, but the repetition of it all really asks you not to bother. You may contemplate taking your game back and try something that feels more than just a technical demo of the DS’s touch screen capabilities.
If you want a game that gives you a hours of fun, go buy Yoshi Touch and Go; a game worthy of gracing everyone’s Nintendo DS, and an example of how a simple technical demo can be turned into a decent game. If you want to try something new and have a bit of money to spare then the game is worth a go, just to see what games we can expect to come in the future for the DS. Overall as good as the game play is, it does bore quick and really doesn’t fully utilise the DS and its many capabilities.