Pac-Man: Adventures in Time - PC

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
Rated: Everyone
Metascore: 79 / 100
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Product Description

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Players journey back in time to the '80s and beyond in Pac-Man: Adventures in Time. The ghosts have stolen a magical power pellet, smashed it, and scattered the pieces across his planet. With the help of Professor Pac-Man, players will travel to five time periods and from Egypt to the Wild West. There are 45 3-D mazes featuring different elevations and terrains, and designs such as spheres and cylinders. With the exception of Pac-Man's ability to jump, gameplay has remained faithful to the arcade version--he can only move in four directions and does not use objects. Don't go crazy with the jumping, however; when the jump meter runs out, Pac-Man is stuck on the ground. There are 16 playable sublevels containing hidden games that link the mazes, and there are bonus items like pretzels and doughnuts. Players can compete via a LAN or over the Internet.

Review

When the original Pac-Man hit arcades well over a decade ago, it was an instant hit because of its distinctive graphics and simple yet challenging and addicting gameplay. Since then, there have been a number of games featuring the jovial pellet-eating hero, all of which tried to capitalize on his fame. In most cases, these attempts proved unsuccessful, which has caused the Pac-Man license to lose much of the popularity it accumulated in its early arcade days. The latest effort, Pac-Man: Adventures in Time, is an attempt to bring Pac-Man back to his roots, but with surprisingly solid 3D graphics, good level design, and a few new gameplay features.

The most impressive aspect of Pac-Man: Adventures in Time is the graphics. The colorful 3D graphics and the overhead perspective do a great job of giving Adventures in Time a brand-new appearance while still retaining the same simple colors and shapes as in the original game. In the Ancient Egypt levels, there are Pac-Man hieroglyphs on the walls that are clear and vibrantly colored; even hieroglyphs that seem to have deteriorated over time or are covered in sand are clearly noticeable. The game also effectively uses some full-motion video effects in some of the later stages, such as the train stage, where the scenery rushes by as Pac-Man jumps from car to car while collecting pellets. You'll also notice subtle lighting effects that highlight Pac-Man's robust shape, but they're not quite as apparent in some stages as they are in others. Adventures in Time also manages to retain a brisk frame rate even on a machine with the minimum system requirements.

Pac-Man's transition into a lush, fully 3D world introduces some new twists to the classic Pac-Man gameplay. Instead of restricting a stage to one single flat maze, you can make Pac-Man run up walls, slide down or climb up hills, and use elevators to reach different platforms. These new environmental features are incorporated seamlessly into the traditional Pac-Man gameplay thanks to the game's solid level design. For instance, obstacles are used in such a manner that they don't just block your progress, but they are actually a well-integrated part of the level. One stage places you in the middle of a cave that slopes down toward the middle where a sleeping dragon is located, and every time the dragon takes a deep breath and exhales, it spews a fireball that travels down a particular part of the maze. Another level takes place in the middle of a medieval jousting tournament as two jousters travel back and forth across a particular section of the level. In the various Egyptian levels, you'll see baskets that contain snakes that will lunge at you if you get too close. There are even environmental objects within the levels that can aid you in your task, such as during one of the Wild West levels that takes place in a saloon with a piano. You can actually run by the piano to make it play, which causes the ghost monsters chasing after you to completely ignore you as they start dancing uncontrollably. In addition, different types of terrain in each of the levels can cause Pac-Man to slow down and speed up accordingly, which can make it challenging to judge how close you are to one of the ghosts or an obstacle - especially in the later levels when the ghosts speed up and the obstacles become more difficult to avoid.

Pac-Man has a number of new abilities to help him navigate the terrain and capture pellets. Now you can make Pac-Man jump to avoid ghosts, boulders, or any other dangerous obstacles that might be in your way. Unfortunately Pac-Man doesn't really get a chance to use his new abilities that often because it can be very difficult to properly time a jump to avoid danger. Controlling Pac-Man also becomes an issue in the later levels because Pac-Man moves in whatever direction you point him in, and he doesn't stop moving in that direction until pointed otherwise, which makes the game's control seem sluggish and unresponsive when you're trying to make sharp turns as a ghost chases you.

The game offers three different multiplayer modes that are equally well-done twists on the classic game. The best of these modes is ghost tag, where you must tag your opponents in order to change back into Pac-Man form and capture enough pellets to beat out the other competitors. Unfortunately, there is no online player-matching service included with the game, so finding an online multiplayer game may be difficult, but Adventures in Time does have a hot-seat option for four players at one computer, and you can also play against computer-controlled opponents.

Pac-Man: Adventures in Time attempts to take the classic Pac-Man formula and adapt it to a three-dimensional world and succeeds at doing so while still retaining the classic sense of the original game. The single-player levels, as well as the multiplayer modes and the minigames, all keep Adventures in Time from becoming repetitive too quickly, though in essence it's still just a remake of the classic Pac-Man. The occasionally sluggish control can be a little frustrating but not enough to take the fun out of the game.--Giancarlo Varanini--Copyright © 2000 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. -- GameSpot Review


Product Information

ASIN B00004T782
Release date October 31, 2000
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #27,072 in videogames
#456 in Software > Children's Software
#3,629 in Video Games > PC Games > PC Games
Pricing The strikethrough price is the List Price. Savings represents a discount off the List Price.
Product Dimensions 5.6 x 4.9 x 0.4 inches
Media: Video Game
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
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Top Customer Reviews

As a kid of the 80s, I lived and breathed Pac-Man. I couldn't get enough of the pellet chomping and ghost devouring. This 21st century version of Pac-Man is a spectacular adaptation of a game that never goes out of style.
For starters, the graphics are outstanding. The game's open is one of the few game opens I truly enjoy watching. While one of the basic objectives of the game is to avoid the ghosts, there are also other distractions to avoid like alligators, boulders, and snakes, all of which make the game that much more challenging. The mazes are superbly designed. The first maze caught my eye since the layout is the same as the first maze on the original Pac-Man. The bonus rounds, like a river run and a variation of Concentration, are a change of pace but they do not take away from the overall enjoyment of the game. In short, Pac-Man: Adventures in Time is a definite must get game.
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This is a somewhat uneven adaptation of pac-man. In general, it has great graphics, good mazes, etc. It keeps the Pac-man playing style while adding nifty modern touches.
The problem comes in the playability. I often found that I was fighting the game: slow responses at critical times, getting into situations where I couldn't see important things due to the field-of-view, etc.
Hopefully they'll come out with a Pac-Man 2 that can clean up these glitches. If they do, it will be a fine game.
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I really loved playing this game. It's your basic Pac-Man run around and collect little pellets and dodge all the gosts, except some really cool scenery and quite a few new twists, including rolling boulders, killer snakes, mine carts, seesaws, and multi-level and sideways mazes. And more. Oh yeah, and don't forget Pac-Man is traveling through time. From cavemen ghosts to high-tech scientist ghosts from the future, Pac-Man has a lot to deal with. Adventures in Time includes room for six players to save (each player can have three saved games), multi player games, cool short videos showing the super-cute Pac-Man, sub-levels which let you earn extra points, and over 45 3D caveman, acient egyptian, medieval, wild west, and future mazes. I don't mean to sound like an add, but this is a really cool game. Oh yeah, and if you buy it, here's a tip: don't use your lives unless you absolutely can't get past a level without. :)
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This game is awesome. I loved it as a kid, and my brother recently found a program that you can download so windows 95/98 cd games will work on the updated operating systems.

I love classic pacman, and this 3D version is fun and adorable. The graphics are diverse and creative (not great compared to modern video games but definitely impressive). There are multiple different themes for the mazes (wild west, medieval, eyptian, etc) and new challenges incorporated in them, such as jumping, swimming, things that will stun or kill pacman besides ghosts (like an alligator), and different powerups necessary to complete mazes (like a flute to put snakes to sleep so you can get the rest of the pellets). Some mazes are timed, and others pacman runs vertically like on a tree or giant mushroom. The sound effects & music are great (the ghosts make the cutest growling noise) and go along with the game. The ghosts are also themed as well for the maze, like in wild west they had cowboy hats, mustaches and pistols. The mazes are broken up with a bunch of fun mini games, some of which are easy and others that are hard.

I played this game religiously as a kid and found it challenging. Even as an adult (21) on EASY (can do easy, medium, or hard for the quest), many of the mazes were a challenge and took multiple attempts. If I had to complain about anything it would be that even with the added challenges, I got to the last maze within a few hours or less of playing (however that was on easy and will probably take longer on medium and difficult).
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After one of the greatest and most recognizable arcade games in history came into the scene, the yellow muncher that starred in the hit went on to be featured in sequels for years before the home console became immensely popular thanks to the likes of Nintendo. Pac-Man and two other games in the series would be ported faithfully to the Nintendo Entertainment System, but in terms of new games, Pac had to wait until the Super NES era to get some more. While they've had their time in the spotlight briefly, out comes Pac-Man World on the Playstation in 1999/2000 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the chomping ball's existence in gaming. Little did as much people know, however, about the OTHER Pac-Man game that came around during that time.

Pac-Man: Adventures in Time is a tragically overlooked game in the franchise that was only ever released for PC during the witnessing of the 21st century. Rather than being developed directly by Namco, production was handled by Hasbro and Creative Asylum, so I guess they didn't...promote it much?? I personally managed to stumble upon this game a very long time ago as I was, and still am, a huge-enough Pac-Fan to play more of the series than just the arcade classics. But enough about me; let's talk about why this game is a must-play!

If you can excuse the brief but silly storyline about an amulet that stabilizes Pac-Land's freedom from terror being smashed and scattered across time, Pac-Man Adventures in Time should make anyone that's played a Pac-Man game feel home, because the game consists of running around a maze, eating all the dots in the maze, being chased by ghosts, eating the ghosts after consuming Power Pellets, and snagging bonus fruits and other objects worth points.
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