Relevant for the platform: NSW
Unusual multiplayer entertainment from Nintendo appears when you don’t expect them at all. Tetris 99 suddenly turned out to be an exciting royal battle, and Pac-Man 99 once again proved that you could breathe new life into legendary but already ancient games. ABOUT Super Mario Bros. 35, let’s forget how we already did it Nintendo – the experiment was not bad, but the multiplayer variation of the “Pacman” fascinates many times more.
There are never too many Pacman
Everything here is arranged in the same way as in Tetris 99: in the centre of the screen is your field, and to the left and right of it, there are squares with the numbers of your opponents and all kinds of icons. There was no time to look there in Tetris, and even here even more so – if you get distracted, you can immediately lose.
The basic rules have not changed: Pac-Man finds himself in a labyrinth already familiar to millions, dangerous ghosts scurry about next to him, and the hero only has to eat all the dots in his path. If he eats one of the four large dots, the ghosts will weaken for a few seconds and start running away – at this moment. The Pacman will change places with them and become a threat to them. It is the killing of ghosts (which are almost immediately reborn in the labyrinth centre) that calls all sorts of troubles to opponents’ side.
The screenshots are deceiving – such a mess of effects looks better in dynamics.
As in Tetris 99, you are negatively affecting the games of your opponents. There we sent them additional strips, filling their glasses, and here we call ghostly Pacman into their labyrinths. They also walk chaotically, but they cannot kill the enemy – they only slow him down. One such ghost is almost harmless, and two are not particularly dangerous if they walk side by side, but a whole group of Pacman can do a lot of harm – you don’t have time to run away from a real ghost.
There is another type of ghost Pacman sent out – they are coloured red and are invincible, even if you eat a large dot. To get rid of them, you need to take a berry in the maze centre and go to the next level by clearing the map. Such payment appears at enemies only if you have gained a large combo by destroying the ghosts. And this is helped by sleeping ghosts – a group of at first harmless creatures who wake up if you walk over them and join one of the spirits running through the maze. It turns out a kind of snake that allows you to send someone a whole bunch of additional obstacles.
They are not so scary.
Figure it out yourself
the main problem Pac-Man 99 moved here from Tetris 99 – there are no explanations at all. At first, you feel like a blind kitten: some strange Pacman appear in the maze while devouring ghosts, some numbers come out. And you don’t quite understand what tactics to adhere to – to do everything very slowly or to rush, send nasty things to your opponents or not touch anyone. Apparently, the developers of both games want you to learn everything yourself, but some elements are not immediately obvious – for example, the same red Pacman.
No one will tell you that if you press the button on the crossbar a split second before the turn, the character will get acceleration. When eating all the dots, the hero begins to move faster, which helps against the white ghostly Pacman. But the most important mystery is the amplification, which is selected by the letter buttons on the “joy”. By default, the standard is always selected there, but you can switch to “stronger”, “speed”, and “train” – bonuses with meaningless names. It turns out that the first one increases the number of sent out ghosts but decreases the duration of large points—the second speed up your Pacman, instead of reducing the number of sent spirits. And the third adds bonus sleeping ghosts when activated but activates more obstacles in your maze.
If your ghosts killed the enemies, you get orders – they can be seen on the right side of the labyrinth.
When you find out all these details, Pac-Man 99 begins to transform. It is already fascinating – if you want to play “Pacman” without delving into the peculiarities of this version and simply reacting to emerging dangers. The new product will fully satisfy this need. Not in vain, Pac-Man is considered one of the most important games in history – its gameplay is addictive with its simplicity even after so many years. And thanks to various innovations, it is completely impossible to get out of it – as soon as you finish the match, you want to start looking for the next one immediately. Everything happens very quickly – although there should be as many as 99 participants in the lobby, the process takes a few seconds literally.
The multiplayer mode is the main one here, but there is also single entertainment in the game. However, you have to pay for them. For 1,049 ₽, a set is sold that unlocks three modes: “Battle against AI”, “Game for points”, and “Blind game for a while.” It will also create closed lobbies, where entry is possible only with a password (ideal for friendly competitions), and custom maze design options will appear in the settings, but not all. There are many of them: one turns the field into a lawn with weeds, the other makes obstacles look like LEGO figures. Individually, each skin costs $ 149, and the Deluxe Edition for $ 2,249 includes absolutely all existing content. Expensive – especially sorry to give so much money for closed lobbies.
With the increase in “Train”, the snakes become noticeably longer.
For the royal battle, you only need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Although the game is distributed on a shareware model, it is exclusive to service subscribers, so you still have to spend money. But it’s worth it – there are countless options for what can happen in the next match, thanks to which each new attempt to take first place is unlike the previous one. You don’t even need any customization items or other rewards for the time spent – you get great pleasure from the game.
Pac-Man 99 Is a great multiplayer arcade game that takes familiar gameplay and adds pertinent new elements to it. As in Tetris 99, in which I sat for several months after submitting the review, I want to return to this game again and again. A project that no one expected, that no one asked for, and which suddenly came out on the day of the announcement, turned out to be great entertainment and, at the same time, a brilliant return of the classics. It has drawbacks, but they do not spoil the impressions.
Pros: classics in a modern wrapper – the already addicting gameplay keeps the screen even stronger; interesting mechanics allow you to select different tactics to win the next match; high-speed search for players, thanks to which you spend little time outside of matches.
Minuses: no training modes and tips; solo entertainment, closed lobbies, and new maze options are too expensive.