I’ve performed 128 video games of Pac-Man 99, however I am solely half sure I do know what I am doing. Missing any sort of tutorial, Pac-Man 99 leaves gamers to study and perceive its methods for themselves – making for a irritating introduction to a visually busy sport. Nonetheless, as soon as I cleared that preliminary hurdle, I discovered myself reaching for Pac-Man 99 time and time once more – if solely due to how unobtrusive it’s.
Taking cues from Tremendous Mario Bros. 35 and Tetris 99, Pac-Man 99 is a contemporary twist on the Pac-Man motion you’ve got identified for 4 a long time: go round a maze selecting up small pellets and bigger energy pellets whereas avoiding the 5 ghosts on-screen that may finish your run. The twist right here, nonetheless, is now you are pitted in opposition to 98 different on-line gamers. Pac-Man 99 is, primarily, a battle royale expertise the place you compete in opposition to the group to be the final participant standing. The majority of the gameplay options Pac-Man’s traditional maze-running motion, however pick-ups on the left and proper facet of the maze assist you to gobble ghosts and ship assaults at different gamers, corresponding to ghost Pac-Males that may both slowdown or finish a participant’s run. By and huge, I discovered this twist on the acquainted system to be a enjoyable problem – it is satisfying to determine when to save lots of your assaults earlier than unleashing them on the opposition.
Nonetheless, attending to the purpose the place you truly perceive the way to play Pac-Man 99 is an entire different story. The sport lacks any sort of tutorial, which leaves it as much as gamers to determine the way to truly play the sport. For those who’re keen to bang your head in opposition to the primary dozen matches or so (a irritating expertise, to say the least), you ultimately get the grasp of it. However within the early hours, there’s a lot taking place on-screen that Pac-Man 99 appears inscrutable. Early in my playtime, the whole lack of tutorials turned me off.
Whereas I’ve since discovered the way to get pleasure from Pac-Man 99, a lot of its methods stay bewildering. Utilizing the Nintendo Change’s face buttons and proper analog stick, you may select methods to assault different gamers, with choices labeled Stronger, Random, Pace, Knockout, and so forth. Nonetheless, I by no means totally understood the clear distinction between a few of these assaults. Urgent and transferring the buttons would not provide detailed visible suggestions, and it’s unclear how my assaults impacted different gamers.
Regardless of this, I nonetheless loved my time with Pac-Man 99. Whereas most of the methods are opaque, by way of sufficient trial-and-error, I received ok to continuously place within the high 25. Not like many different battle royales, matches of Pac-Man 99 are comparatively fast and reloading into a brand new match is painless, which I additionally appreciated. On high of the battle royale mode, Pac-Man 99 additionally has a Rating Assault, CPU Battle, and Time Assault single participant modes, although by and huge I discovered these unremarkable and never practically as enjoyable as the bottom mode. It is also price mentioning all single participant sport modes are locked behind a $15 paywall, as is numerous the beauty content material, however the battle royale mode is free. For those who’re itching for extra Pac-Man, it is actually there, however so far as I am involved the perfect this sport has to supply is the free mode.
Pac-Man 99 just isn’t a very troublesome sport, however it’s participating, and I discovered myself desirous to play increasingly more. Nonetheless, the digital music that performs over the menu and through matches is repetitive and annoying (there are perhaps two or three songs in the entire thing), so Pac-Man 99 has develop into my go-to podcast sport. Which, if you happen to ask me, is an underrated style. The opposite evening I sat down and listened to the brand new episode of Right this moment, Defined by Vox whereas enjoying – I like to recommend it, it is a good one.
To get pleasure from Pac-Man 99, I needed to settle for the frustrations that got here with studying its methods. Whereas it does an embarrassingly poor job of explaining the hows-and-whys of its mechanics, as soon as you work them out by yourself, it is a great way to fill lulls in your day. Pac-Man 99 has develop into my go-to once I wish to do one thing else, and I am unable to consider a lot greater reward for a sport of this caliber. It fills a distinct segment in my life the place I can keep occupied with one thing enjoyable with out the necessity to commit all of my more and more restricted consideration to it.