pacmanNamco is finally delivering Pac Man: Championship Edition to the iPhone this Thursday, December 10th. Pac Man C.E. was a new Pac Man game that was created by Tōru Iwatani, the original creator of Pac Man. The game had been exclusive to the Xbox Live Arcade until recently, and will finally grace the App Store.

Pac Man C.E. carries forward the same basic concept and gameplay of the original but spices up the play enormously, making it an action-packed race against the clock:

The game is bound by a time limit in which the player must score as many points as possible, and the game ends when this time limit is reached or the player runs out of lives. The game speeds up as the player scores more points, and slows down slightly when the player loses a life.
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Each maze is divided into two halves. Eating all the dots in one half of the maze causes a bonus fruit to appear on the other side, and eating the fruit causes a new maze to appear in the original half. In most cases, the maze patterns vary significantly throughout the game and some change over time.

pacmanstick

We've managed to spend a little time with the game already and already think it plays great. The make or break feature on the iPhone is, of course, the control scheme. Namco seems to have put a lot of thought into the controls for such a fast action game and offer 4 different types:

  • Dual d-pads
  • Thumb Swipe
  • Pointer Swipe
  • Directional buttons

pacmandpadEach control scheme seems to make sense in its own way. The presence of a dual d-pad, for example, allows you to perform quick turns as the accuracy of tapping one pad and then another is far less an issue when using two thumbs.

I stuck with the thumb swipe action which worked quite well for the most part.

This video shows the thumb swipe as well as a bit of the Directional buttons towards the end:

The basic game comes with 20 Mission levels and 5 Championship Mode levels. Namco will be offering an expansion pack which includes an additional 100 Mission Levels, 10 Championship levels, and 15 Challenge Mode courses. Unfortunately, there is no online component to the scoring.

What we can't yet comment on is the value of the included game levels and value of the expansion pack, but the core gameplay itself seems great. Namco does seem to be holding back the bulk of the content for an in-app purchase, so the relative pricing of these elements will be key. We'll have a full review when the game arrives on Thursday.

  • Cranker

    Are there Global leaderboards in this one ?

    • arn

      no, does not appear to be

      • Cranker

        :) :) :) :) :) ................No sale for me :)

  • Cranker

    Are there Global leaderboards in this one ?

    • arn

      no, does not appear to be

      • Cranker

        :) :) :) :) :) ................No sale for me :)

  • SalamiBob

    Oh wow, that looks just as beautiful and fun as it does on the 360 arcade. and a great soundtrack to boot.

  • SalamiBob

    Oh wow, that looks just as beautiful and fun as it does on the 360 arcade. and a great soundtrack to boot.

  • Hmar9333

    Seriously, how many freakin' Pac-Man's do we need???

    • Br1an

      The original and this one. That's how many.

    • http://www.twitchfactor.com Twitchfactor

      You need this one, unless you're an asshat retro-purist and don't like anything other than the game that you romanticize about loving so much.

      This Pac-Man is THE BEST Pac Man, since Ms. Pac-Man!
      (and designed by the original Pac-Man designer, if that makes you feel any better).

      This game is one of the BEST XBLA games, period.

      • MidianGTX

        I'm not an asshat retro-purist, but the XBLA version has one gigantic flaw that totally killed it for me. There is absolutely NO unlimited mode.

        Who wants a Pac-Man game that's impossible to play beyond 5 minutes? Sure, the skill lies in how many points you can gather in that time, but it's not half as fun as having a survival mode with a simple lives limit rather than time. Huge letdown. If the iPhone version suffers the same fate I'll be passing.

      • http://www.twitchfactor.com Twitchfactor

        True... that is a flaw, if you're looking for longer contiguous play sessions.

        I wasn't necessarily calling you specifically a retro-asshat-purist, more the whole movement of hate that goes on.

  • Hmar9333

    Seriously, how many freakin' Pac-Man's do we need???

    • Br1an

      The original and this one. That's how many.

    • http://www.twitchfactor.com Twitchfactor

      You need this one, unless you're an asshat retro-purist and don't like anything other than the game that you romanticize about loving so much.

      This Pac-Man is THE BEST Pac Man, since Ms. Pac-Man!
      (and designed by the original Pac-Man designer, if that makes you feel any better).

      This game is one of the BEST XBLA games, period.

      • MidianGTX

        I'm not an asshat retro-purist, but the XBLA version has one gigantic flaw that totally killed it for me. There is absolutely NO unlimited mode.

        Who wants a Pac-Man game that's impossible to play beyond 5 minutes? Sure, the skill lies in how many points you can gather in that time, but it's not half as fun as having a survival mode with a simple lives limit rather than time. Huge letdown. If the iPhone version suffers the same fate I'll be passing.

      • http://www.twitchfactor.com Twitchfactor

        True... that is a flaw, if you're looking for longer contiguous play sessions.

        I wasn't necessarily calling you specifically a retro-asshat-purist, more the whole movement of hate that goes on.

  • Mister Mumbles

    Nice. I've been looking forward to this one. Great to hear it runs so well. A definite purchase for me. It's kind of strange though that there's no online scoring, especially with its title of 'Championship Edition'. Ah well. I'm still expecting to have a good ole time with this.

  • Mister Mumbles

    Nice. I've been looking forward to this one. Great to hear it runs so well. A definite purchase for me. It's kind of strange though that there's no online scoring, especially with its title of 'Championship Edition'. Ah well. I'm still expecting to have a good ole time with this.

  • http://tonymora.blogspot.com/ Tony Mora

    The best arcade game on Xbox Live. Really disappointing that there's no online leaderboard. Come on Namco!

  • http://tonymora.blogspot.com/ Tony Mora

    The best arcade game on Xbox Live. Really disappointing that there's no online leaderboard. Come on Namco!

  • Adams Immersive

    Just to be clear--since I was confused at first--this is NOT the same as “Pac-Mac Remix” (the 3D-ish one with the giant bosses).

    Tons of official Pac-Mac games on iPhone!

  • Adams Immersive

    Just to be clear--since I was confused at first--this is NOT the same as “Pac-Mac Remix” (the 3D-ish one with the giant bosses).

    Tons of official Pac-Mac games on iPhone!

  • Blades

    This looks like a lit of fun. However, not a big fan of the expansion pak theme. Just put it all together for one price. None on this, pay for a glorified demo, but to get the real "intended" game, you must pay more BS.

    • Adams Immersive

      Nothing wrong with it as long as the included levels are worth the price. Time (and reviews) will tell.

  • Blades

    This looks like a lit of fun. However, not a big fan of the expansion pak theme. Just put it all together for one price. None on this, pay for a glorified demo, but to get the real \"intended\" game, you must pay more BS.

    • Adams Immersive

      Nothing wrong with it as long as the included levels are worth the price. Time (and reviews) will tell.

  • http://dokidokigames.com Nic

    This was the best game on the 360 :) Looking forward to getting my hands on this!

  • http://dokidokigames.com Nic

    This was the best game on the 360 :) Looking forward to getting my hands on this!

  • Br1an

    This is the one app I've been looking forward-to above all others.

  • Br1an

    This is the one app I've been looking forward-to above all others.

  • Uncle Jimbo

    Top game, and good to hear it's due soon. You need to start researching your stories though. We heard about this back in August, and it's not exclusive to XBLA at all.

    • arn

      We never said this is new information. And it "had been exclusive", which I still believe is a true statement.

  • Uncle Jimbo

    Top game, and good to hear it's due soon. You need to start researching your stories though. We heard about this back in August, and it's not exclusive to XBLA at all.

    • arn

      We never said this is new information. And it "had been exclusive", which I still believe is a true statement.

  • http://twitter.com/BulkSlash Bulk Slash

    Holy crap, I love this game on the 360, I can't believe I can now carry it around with me whenever I want. I really hope they've perfected the controls as the 360 version would often get me killed because of the crappy d-pad. In the end I bought a third party joypad because it had a very accurate d-pad designed for beat 'em ups.

  • http://twitter.com/BulkSlash Bulk Slash

    Holy crap, I love this game on the 360, I can't believe I can now carry it around with me whenever I want. I really hope they've perfected the controls as the 360 version would often get me killed because of the crappy d-pad. In the end I bought a third party joypad because it had a very accurate d-pad designed for beat 'em ups.

  • Tom

    I'll wait to purchase this until after they fix the crashing issues with the original Pac-Man and Ms.Pac. I have two ipod 2nd gens and they crash frequently on both. I emailed Namco and they emailed me back about 2 months ago saying they were aware of the issues and working on updates. Still no updates so I can't in good faith purchase another Namco game until they do good on the broken games.

  • Tom

    I'll wait to purchase this until after they fix the crashing issues with the original Pac-Man and Ms.Pac. I have two ipod 2nd gens and they crash frequently on both. I emailed Namco and they emailed me back about 2 months ago saying they were aware of the issues and working on updates. Still no updates so I can't in good faith purchase another Namco game until they do good on the broken games.

  • http://www.yourpersonalrobot.com your personal robot

    Instabuy.
    This looks like the best Pac Man game for the idevices.
    Can't wait for Thursday!

  • http://www.yourpersonalrobot.com your personal robot

    Instabuy.
    This looks like the best Pac Man game for the idevices.
    Can't wait for Thursday!

  • http://www.generationstarwars.com John Hood

    I've held off buying the previous Pac Man games on the App Store! The wait will be worth it.

    • Corey

      This is the pacman I've been waiting for !!!!!
      All I'm hoping that it's under 4.99!!!
      At 1.99 (Which it won't be) would be a killer app-It will hit the top ten in no time at this price, unfortunally Namaco is stiff with their prices.

  • http://www.generationstarwars.com John Hood

    I've held off buying the previous Pac Man games on the App Store! The wait will be worth it.

    • Corey

      This is the pacman I've been waiting for !!!!!
      All I'm hoping that it's under 4.99!!!
      At 1.99 (Which it won't be) would be a killer app-It will hit the top ten in no time at this price, unfortunally Namaco is stiff with their prices.

  • http://www.GalleyTech.com/ Galley

    Looks great! I hope it comes to the PlayStation Network, too.

  • http://www.GalleyTech.com/ Galley

    Looks great! I hope it comes to the PlayStation Network, too.

  • owlnonymous

    looks awesome, I'm sold.

  • owlnonymous

    looks awesome, I'm sold.

  • SteveJ

    Day one for me! Really glad to see this coming out.

  • SteveJ

    Day one for me! Really glad to see this coming out.

  • Corey

    I hope the upgrade is a in-app purchase not a seperate App
    And I hope it cheap.

  • Corey

    I hope the upgrade is a in-app purchase not a seperate App
    And I hope it cheap.

  • Acidbottle

    been waiting for this for so long (without a clue as to how the game plays) and seems like 2 things may kill it fer me, the lack of online score and no survival mode .. what kinda mutant pac-man is this?!

    oki, well dragons lair hasnt suffered through lack of online scoring but this is essentially a high score game. i dont take much pleasure beating my own scores all the time. think i will pass on this and im getting fed up with big devs doing this whilst the indie devs get it spot on nearly everytime. namco you suck :(

    still, least they seem to have finally nailed idevice controls woohoo

  • Acidbottle

    been waiting for this for so long (without a clue as to how the game plays) and seems like 2 things may kill it fer me, the lack of online score and no survival mode .. what kinda mutant pac-man is this?!

    oki, well dragons lair hasnt suffered through lack of online scoring but this is essentially a high score game. i dont take much pleasure beating my own scores all the time. think i will pass on this and im getting fed up with big devs doing this whilst the indie devs get it spot on nearly everytime. namco you suck :(

    still, least they seem to have finally nailed idevice controls woohoo

  • rich_952000

    "Unfortunately, there is no online component to the scoring."

    Unfortunate indeed. I bought Pac-Man Remix and while I am a fan of that game I won't be buying any more of these arcade high score games that don't support global leaderboards. It is a shame too especially since this looks good.

  • rich_952000

    "Unfortunately, there is no online component to the scoring."

    Unfortunate indeed. I bought Pac-Man Remix and while I am a fan of that game I won't be buying any more of these arcade high score games that don't support global leaderboards. It is a shame too especially since this looks good.

  • misfitskater6

    What is the big deal with online leaderboards? It's cool for some games, but I don't how it's such a big necessity for so many people.

    Anyway, how do they know it will be released on Thursday? Once a game is approved by Apple, can the developer then release it when they want or what?

    • rich_952000

      For me, it equates to unlimited replayability. I don't have some big circle of friends to compare scores with. This element is what made arcade games of yesteryear so addicting and desired: the open, shared leaderboard. Not to forget this is a new age and platform of gaming and IMO these Global Leaderboards should be the standard on this platform that doesn't boast next gen graphics and surround sound.

      Bottom line: Global Leaderboards keep me coming back for more. :)

  • misfitskater6

    What is the big deal with online leaderboards? It's cool for some games, but I don't how it's such a big necessity for so many people.

    Anyway, how do they know it will be released on Thursday? Once a game is approved by Apple, can the developer then release it when they want or what?

    • rich_952000

      For me, it equates to unlimited replayability. I don't have some big circle of friends to compare scores with. This element is what made arcade games of yesteryear so addicting and desired: the open, shared leaderboard. Not to forget this is a new age and platform of gaming and IMO these Global Leaderboards should be the standard on this platform that doesn't boast next gen graphics and surround sound.

      Bottom line: Global Leaderboards keep me coming back for more. :)

  • mgabrys

    Why are two virtual sticks represented? Why not use Pac Man's / Ms. Pac's all-screen swipe?

    • misfitskater6

      You can, there's several control schemes in this game, including dual sticks and swipe.

  • mgabrys

    Why are two virtual sticks represented? Why not use Pac Man's / Ms. Pac's all-screen swipe?

    • misfitskater6

      You can, there's several control schemes in this game, including dual sticks and swipe.

  • Gryphon23

    Cool. Now on my iXmas list. lol

  • Gryphon23

    Cool. Now on my iXmas list. lol

  • HistorySchol

    IGN review is that it's a piece of shit.

  • HistorySchol

    IGN review is that it's a piece of shit.

  • Edel905

    How about a 'PC' version!! Who the wants to play this on a STUPID PHONE...

  • Giovanni_galvez

    who wants to play it on a PC? GO MAC!