One of my most anticipate games for Apple Arcade was a new Pac-Man. I had no idea what it was going to be, but I was really looking forward to it after seeing a tease in an Apple Arcade trailer. When it was finally released a Pac-Man Party Royale by Bandai Namco I immediately downloaded it. Unfortunately, I am sorry to say, I was disappointed in the game I played. Read on to find out why.
Pac-Man Party Royale is not your typical Pac-Man. Instead of trying to clear the board and avoid ghosts and eat fruit, you are trying to avoid just one ghost while eating more pellets than three other Pac-People. While doing that you are trying to eat what I would best describe as a moving power pellet which enables you to eat the other players and the ghost. Your goal is to be the last one standing.
Now, these game scenarios could be fun, and it is at first. However, it gets old fast.
One of the biggest issues before even playing the game is figuring out how to play a one player game. There is no guidance on how to do this when you open the app. Upon opening the app you are given the option of hosting a game or joining a game. The games have to be local, meaning not over the internet, but via Bluetooth with people around you. If you don't have anyone to play with it appears as if you are out of luck.
However, there is another option and that is to play by yourself again three Pac-Bots. The problem is finding this, which I did accidentally. You have to start a game and keep clicking through until you are given the option to play Pac-Bots. You start the game and are playing solo. As I said, there is NO indication of this at all. Most people probably see that can't play a solo game and delete the app. The beginning of the video below will walk you through the steps.
This is not the only issue with the game. As you play you pick up speed by eating more pellets. However, the starting speed is too slow. It is insanely slow. It is almost to the point where you don't want to play because it is so slow. Then there is the game itself. As I said earlier, it is fun at first, but it gets old and boring fast. I found winning against the bots to be fairly easy.
Controls are also not the best. Swiping on the iPad or iPhone is not very responsive and difficult. I used a controller, and it was much better, but not the greatest. It seems as if all Pac-Man iOS apps suffer from this issue. I would have hoped they would have figured it out by now.
Finally, what this game really needs is true online play where you can jump in and play people around the world. The description in Arcade says more modes are coming soon, and hopefully this is one of them. Of course, this will require other people playing it and hopefully enough people are still playing the game when and if it is added. If this is a mode coming soon it should have been in the initial release and the local player games should have been saved. After all how many people actually have a house full fo people ready and willing to play a battle game of Pac-Man?
I will hold out hope that things improve in an update, but for now I can't recommend this game.
Arcade Reviews Rating 2 out of 5
Download the game here.
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