Pac-Man 256 was an entertaining endless running on iOS, and continues to hold my attention on Xbox One.
The title is based after the infamous glitch of Level 256, and sees a glitch continuously come at you from the bottom of the screen as you keep racing up, trying to get as many dots and fruit as possible. If you’ve ever played Crossy Road, you should know what to expect as you keep going higher and higher for as long as possible.
While you munch your way up, you’ll run into usual ghosts Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde, along with a new one called Glitchy, each with their own patterns to chase you. Helping to get rid of them are three power-ups you can have selected during a run that will randomly drop.
Besides Power Pellets, power-ups, such as bombs, lasers and lightning can be found to give a temporary advantage of destroying ghosts and giving a big point boost before going back to just eating pellets again. They can be leveled up with coins found in levels to make them last longer or give more points when destroying a ghost.
As you suck up pellets, you can build a combo that gives you a multiplier. If you hit a 256 combo, all ghosts will be wiped off the screen for a few seconds. However, keeping a combo that long is easier said than done with the waves of ghosts thrown at you.
You can definitely tell this is a mobile app, as a few rounds of the endless gameplay will be enough to tide many players over for a day or two before wanting to return for more. So, what makes the $5 price tag worthwhile?
First, it makes all 10 themes in the game available for free, each of which are $0.99 on mobile devices. The themes are fun to randomize and change, as it can at least make the game more entertaining to watch as you zoom up.
The bigger draw is the local multiplayer mode that supports up to four players. That can really help boost high scores up and add some extra strategy to have one player go for a power up while another goes for pellets.
Overall, your enjoyment with Pac-Man 256 will depend on how much you like repetition. If going for a new high score after new high score drives you, you’ll keep going back to climb the leaderboards. However, if you’re just interested in old school Pac-Man, you may want to wait for Pac-Man Championship Edition DX 2.
Final Score: 6.5