Pac-Man has been repackaged so many times it makes our head spin. There’s been one-off ports, dedicated handhelds, and a monstrous array of spin offs.
As you’d expect, no collection of titles dedicated to the yellow pill muncher has ever felt truly complete. And this latest release for the Switch is no exception.
Despite that, this is undoubtedly a compilation with an enjoyable amount of variety – with some enjoyably oddball selections thrown in for good measure.
Including 14 titles spanning several years – the original Pac Man is included, and the latest is 2015’s Pac Man 256 – the game is presented via a mildly annoying isometric menu based in an arcade.
In this you move Pac Man around to the various machines, with some only being unlocked once you’ve played certain titles a specific amount of times.
This is an immediately annoying restriction considering the game’s large price tag, but it generally doesn’t take too many minutes of playtime for everything to be available.
As for the quality of the games…they are a mixed bag, as you’d expect – but our impressions were largely positive. Pac Man is a classic, whereas Super Pac-Man varies the formula quite a lot and is a welcome change of pace to its predecessor.
Pac & Pal sadly complicates the formula too much and isn’t very enjoyable, whereas Pac Land is a very rudimentary 2D platformer – yet fun enough for a few goes.
Pac-Mania is the first isometric entry in the series, and allows you to jump over the ghosts. A welcome addition but it’s far too slow to hold your attention for long.
Pac-Attack is a mildly endearing puzzler that seems to be in almost every one of these collections, and offers a gameplay loop that’s just about satisfying (and unique) enough to keep you playing.
Pac-In-Time is the strangest game of the collection and a 2D platformer where solving simple puzzles and avoiding enemies is the name of the day. It’s pretty clunky but certainly not a Pac-Man title we can imagine many have played. Perhaps understandably.
Namco Museum Battle Collection is an excellent addition and arguably the most satisfying of all the games here. Offering a two player mode, a range of varied mazes and enemies, and some superb presentation this will consume hours of your time if you let it.
Pac-Man Championship Edition is a superb reimagining of the classic Pac-Man formula too, and Pac-Man Battle Royale is a retooled multiplayer focused iteration of that game.
Pac Motos and Pac n’ Roll are both oddities with little resemblance to the original Pac-Man in genre, but are both work a look regardless.
Finally Pac-Man 256 is a massively engaging isometric endless runner where you have to constantly move up the screen/maze away from a killer wave of glitches. A great high score chaser, it’s brilliant played both solo and co-operatively.
So that’s Pac-Man Museum+ – a well presented collection of some of the more interesting titles from the Pac-Man series. Not all of the best ones are included of course, but you can’t have everything.