Pac-Man 99 is a Battle Royale twist on the Namco arcade classic, but players shouldn’t forget about the original multiplayer ghost muncher on Stadia.
This week, it was introduced to subscribers of Nintendo Switch Online Pac-Man 99. In the tradition of Tetris 99 and Super Mario Bros. 35, this game takes Namco’s famous dot-eating pet and places him in a maze alongside 99 other mazes and 99 other Pac-Men. Players try to outlive each other as the maze gets faster, and the final Pac-Man is deemed the winner. It’s a novel twist on an arcade classic, but it’s not the first time a Pac-Man battle royale has hit the scene. Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle released on Stadia in late 2020 and its battle royale mechanics allow players to interact much more directly than Pac-Man 99Tender multiplayer mayhem.
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In Mega tunnel battle, things start out with a crumpled horizontal maze, but otherwise it’s like a Pac-Man arcade round. Players can play through each maze to collect points or they can zoom out to the sides and enter other mazes. These boards will already have another Pac-Man piloted by a human player, and that Pac-Man is just as venerable to energy pellets as ghosts. Add in a variety of random power-ups that spawn through warp tunnels, and the result is a chaotic and unpredictable arcade experience.
That’s true Pac-Man 99 it is a more traditional Pac-man experience as it reproduces the classic arcade maze and rewards players for playing as they have for decades. Both games have their place, but Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle it feels more like other Battle Royales on the market. Other than dropping obstacles in other mazes, there is no interaction between players in Pac-Man 99, so it feels like an arcade challenge mode rather than some kind of deathmatch scenario. This is why Pac-Man 99 can offer single-player versus CPU modes that stay true to your game design.
How Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle differs from Pac-Man 99
On the other side of the coin Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle it only really shines when players start interfering with other players and taking them down. Players can store power-ups that add additional ghosts to the board or block all exits and then unleash them on an unsuspecting player. They can chase a wayward Pac-Man like a ghost, or they can help other players by chewing on a power pill at the right time. All that action, compounded by the machinations of dozens of other players, makes for a different experience each round, which is exactly what most people look for in a battle royale.
Either Pac-Man 99, Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle, or just regular Pac-man In a game room, it’s great to see the Namco icon thrive today. The fact that this simplistic game can spawn two distinct styles of Battle Royale just shows how versatile retro arcade games can be. While Nintendo’s offering will undoubtedly be more popular due to its release on Switch, fans of that game should check out Namco’s other battle royale on Stadia. It’s one of the many great deals on Stadia Pro right now, and it brings a whole new twist to multiplayer. Pac-man.
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