by Mark Nobes, chief editor
Many arcade games back in the early 80s were instantly playable and required few instructions. Pac-Man was no exception, and it was originally created by Toru Iwatani for the Japanese software company Namco. It was released into the arcades during 1980, and became one of the best-known and most iconic video games of the 1980s. It is also one of the highest-grossing games ever.
The game was originally named Puck-Man, but this was changed when it was released outside Japan for obvious reasons!
You can play a very authentic Free Pac-Man Game below which should work on all devices!
Instructions: Simply use the left and right arrow keys (or your finger on mobile/android devices) to guide Pacman through the maze. Gobble-up all the pills to complete a level.
PAC-MAN ON THE ATARI 2600
However, he was given a limited amount of time by Atari to complete the project. What seemed liked a simple piece of programming became a bit of a nightmare for Frye. The technical differences between the Atari system and the original arcade hardware (especially the memory!) proved to be extremely challenging.
The result was a disastrous conversion that is drastically different from the original to meet the console's limitations. The graphics are simplified (there isn't even any fruit!) and the maze layout is also modified - there is only one maze throughout the whole game. The Pac-Man sprite also never faces up or down. The worst aspect of the game, though, is the flickering ghosts, due to the game rendering one ghost on screen per frame.
When it was finally ready, Atari produced 12 million ROM cartridges, expecting a high number of sales. Initially, the game sold very well, and 7 million copies were shifted, making it Atari's best-selling title. However, it was critically panned and dubbed "flicker-man" by customers, who returned the game in their droves!
On viewing the video below and comparing it the the arcade version, you will see that the port for Atari's most successful games console was simply dire, and it's not hard to see why it was a complete marketing disaster. Along with E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Atari Pac-Man was a major contributor to the video game crash of 1983, with the company losing around $536 within the same year.