Pac-Man Atari-2600 front cover
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    One of the most popular and influential games of the 1980’s, Pac-Man stars a little, yellow dot-muncher who works his way around to clear a maze of the various dots and fruit which inhabit the board. Play Pac-Man for Atari 2600 online.

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    Pac-Man’s goal is continually challenged by four ghosts: The shy blue ghost Bashful (“Inky”), the trailing red ghost Shadow (“Blinky”), the fast pink ghost Speedy (“Pinky”), and the forgetful orange ghost Pokey (“Clyde”). One touch from any of these ghosts means loss of a life for Pac-Man.

    Pac-Man can turn the tables on his pursuers by eating one of the four Power-Pills located around the maze. During this time, the ghosts turn blue, and Pac-Man can eat them for bonus points. This only lasts for a limited amount of time as the ghosts’ eyes float back to their center box and regenerate to chase after Pac-Man again.

    Survive a few rounds of gameplay, and be treated to humorous intermissions starring Pac-Man and the ghosts.

    Atari 2600 Pac-Man game description

    The player uses a joystick to control Pac-Man, navigating him through a maze of consumable dashes called Video Wafers, opposed by a quartet of multi-colored ghosts. The goal of the game is to consume all the wafers in each level in order to proceed to the next level.

    The score from each level is then combined to a total, with the aim of achieving the highest possible score. The four ghosts roam the maze, trying to kill Pac-Man. If any of the ghosts touches Pac-Man, he loses a life; when all lives have been lost, the game ends. Each game starts with four lives, and the player is awarded a bonus life upon successful completion of each level, up to a maximum of nine lives in reserve at any given time.

    Near the corners of the maze are four larger, flashing consumables known as Power Pills that provide Pac-Man with the temporary ability to eat the ghosts and earn bonus points. When a Power Pill is in effect the enemies turn blue and try to evade Pac-Man.

    When a ghost is eaten its disembodied eyes return to the nest (center box) to respawn.

    The blue ghosts turn reddish during the last moments of a Power Pill’s effect, signaling that they are about to become dangerous again, and the length of time for which the enemies remain vulnerable varies from one level to the next, becoming shorter as the game progresses. The final consumable items are the Vitamins, which appear periodically directly below the nest.

    The game has eight variations, offering two different starting speeds for Pac-Man and four speeds for the ghosts. The ghosts get slightly faster each subsequent round, but Pac-Man stays at the same speed. The console’s A–B difficulty switches can also be used to handicap one or both players: in the A (hard) position, the power pills’ effects do not last as long.

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