Did you know: Pac-Man was originally called Puck Man in Japan? But when the game came to the west, Midway feared innovative vandals might change the ‘P’ to an ‘F’. True story, man; Scott Pilgrim told me so.
As the name probably suggests, PAC-MAN DASH! is an endless runner (of sorts), and, being free to download, plays host to lots of in-app purchases and that. But don’t let either of those things put you off; it’s really a lot of fun.
PAC-MAN DASH! splits the action into 70+ side-scrolling missions across five worlds, from Pac-Man’s home in the city, to the underground monster world.
In each mission, you have 30 seconds to achieve a particular goal; maybe you’ll have to eat a target number of cookies, jump a particular number of times, or avoid bats. That kinda thing.
Of course, the familiar ghosts make an appearance in PAC-MAN DASH!, and collecting them gives an oft-critical time boost. Lovely.
No smartphone runner would be complete without power-ups, and PAC-MAN DASH! has you well and truly covered.
Basic power-ups include a clock that gives you an extra 30 seconds, and a thingy that doubles the number of cookies you eat.
Speaking of cookies, they actually function as PAC-MAN DASH!’s in-game currency, with various different, uhm, Pac-Men for sale – activated when your meter charges fully.
Choosing your Pac-Man wisely is key to completing PAC-MAN DASH!’s missions, as each has its own set of abilities. Spinner Ice Pac, for example, can triple jump, absorb cookies and freeze ghosts, while Gigantic Pac becomes – you guessed it - gigantic, with the ability to double jump and dash.
Needless to say, saving up for Pac-Men will take ages, but the game neatly gives free trials at regular intervals, so you can effectively try before you buy.
Finally, on the freemium note, runs are rationed to 10 at a time, recharging at a reasonable rate so long as you stay online.
And that pretty much sums up PAC-MAN DASH! It’s fast, it’s bright, and it’s completely over the top, with things constantly exploding and backgrounds changing and what have you. Well worth checking out.
- It’s Pac-Man!
- The mission system
- Looks great; fast and bright
- The freemium stuff
- Yep, it’s another runner
- Might melt your eyes
Summary: Considering how many endless runners there are out there, PAC-MAN DASH! feels surprisingly fresh. It’s fast, bright, and completely silly. And heck, it’s free. Go play it.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.