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North American arcade cabinet.

Pac-Man, known in Japan as パックマン [Pakkuman], is an action video game developed and published by Namco on 1980-05-22, and distributed by Midway in the USA in 1980-10-26. Pac-Man is the best-selling arcade cabinet to date, and the second most profitable. Despite being so lucrative, the game's designer Toru Iwatani did not receive a bonus or even official recognition from Namco for his creation.

I remember first playing this game in the mid-1980s. I was with my mother and brother, I think at a laundromat in Pontiac. I remember my brother playing and getting to the second stage, but I, being 3-years-younger, couldn't get past the first. I've since watched people who are really good play Pac-Man in arcades, but I've never had much of a desire to get good myself. The game is just too primitive to keep my interest.


I do not own the game, and I have not reached the kill screen. I haven't tried to get a decent high score.


  • Overall: 5/10
  • Best Version: Arcade


  • The game is pretty solid. It remains challenging and fast-moving the entire time you play.
  • The increasingly difficult ghosts and shorter-length power pellets increase the challenge of the game and a nice steady rate.
  • Adding a different "personality" to each ghost was a wonderful idea and really added to the challenge, as did having the ghosts systematically move toward their own corners.
  • Changing the bonus fruit is a nice change of pace.
  • The cut-scenes between levels was a nice break in the action.
  • The game has some pretty memorable sound effects and jingles.


  • The game is too hard. Most players are unable to beat the first level on their first attempt, which is a bit frustrating.
  • Overall, there isn't much to do with the game. You're essentially repeating the same actions the entire game.
  • The game lacks a true victory condition. Sure, the kill screen ends the game, but it's insanely difficult to reach, and wasn't even intended in the first place.
  • There is a minor bug with collision detection where you can sometimes pass right through a ghost.


  • Nothing

Cabinet Art


Design Documents