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Ms. Pac Man Hack

Genre: Maze

Awards: None
Babies Whose Nurseries are Blue and Gray Grow Up to Love Stocks and Bonds and Treating Women Poorly Pros: New Mazes, Unique Power Pellet Placement
Cons: Ugly as Hell
This Yellow Guy is Speedy, He's the 2nd Fastest... and His Nickname is Pinky... So Yeah...


Overview: Let's just face it sport, Pac-Man had a shady past, man. Old slick apparently had two love children floating around back in the 80s. The ho had an affair with a pinball machine, for God's sake. This spawned the arcade maze game/pinball hybrid, Baby Pac-Man, which Bob Decrescenzo made famous in the 7800 scene with his excellent port. Then, there was another, lesser known love child, also insipidly titled Baby Pac-Man that was created by a company called UKI. We don't talk about this kid, either, only Jr. Pac Man- who he spawned with his wife... sinner. Funny enough, UKI only made two computer games: Baby Pac Man and Skiing. For some reason, an unknown 7800 hobby programmer thought it would be a good idea to dredge up all that family drama on the Prosystem by reminding us of our maze hero's infidelity. So here we are... family drama time.

What We Gotz Here: This C64 Baby Pac Man has nothing to do with pinball. In fact... it has nothing to do with babies, either. With all of the grays, navy blues, silvers and greens, it looks like more like a game starring Pac Man's accountant rather than his lovechild. Baby Pac Man's main hook is that UKI liked putting the power pellets in weird spots on the mazes. Also, the ghosts look like they need Prozac with their joyless faces. I have a feeling that this cartridge would wear a smoking jacket and smoke a pipe if it had shoulders, lungs, and free will. When Baby Pac-Man eats a power pellet, ghosts turn gray for God's sake. How drab. The game is not easy, because the tunnels are few and far between, and maze lanes tend to be long and devoid of escape routes. The joyless ghosts move fast too.

This is an odd game. The yellow ghost "Speedy" is nicknamed "Pinky". See what we are dealing with here? Are these people funny or do they just not care? There are several differences between this odd hack and the UKI computer game you have never played. The graphics are better here than in the computer version, and it shares the exact music with the 7800 version of Ms. Pac Man. The original game features no ghost box (the ghosts start out in the corners), the sound effects sound like different types of high pitched farts, and it features only one maze. BUT... that maze IS pretty cool looking, and not featured in the 7800 version. The original game maze is horizontally longer than tall, while the 7800 version's mazes are shaped like a conventional arcade Pac Man game (tall instead of wide). Also, in the original title, Baby Pac Man changes into iridescent colors when he eats a power pill... the ghosts stay the same color.

Verdict: Baby Pac Man looks more like Business Man Pac Man, and his adversaries look more like work associates than cartoon bad guys from a haunted daycare. Ms Pac-Man is the source code material for this game, so there are movies after clearing a couple of mazes. It is devoid of the story of this love child coming to be. Of course it is. No love, no romance, no stork, no arguments between lovers about getting rid of it. This game should have been called Pac Man's Immediate Supervisor instead, and the movies should have featured a Pac-Man person with a pencil mustache, smoking a pipe and doing the company's taxes. It may be an ugly version of Pac Man, but it has interesting maze lay outs, challenging power pellet locales and the ghosts are tough. Take it or leave it: