The Championship Edition DX of Pac-Man, a neon-tinged take on the arcade classic, was originally released on XBLA in 2010, Windows Phone the year after and Steam two years ago. It's only now making its way to iOS and Android devices, giving us the perfect excuse to put the title through its paces again.
The game divides its trio of modes across multiple courses, these and additional challenges needing to be unlocked through play. Most of these are different Time Trials, asking you to collect Fruit, appearing at the end of fully-gobbled dot lines, before the timer counts down. You've Ghost Combo, as you try and munch as many Ghosts as possible in a short time.
But the real hook is the Score Attack. It starts out fairly basic - each course has a small number of dots to chomp on, a couple of Ghosts to avoid. But as you clear the dots a pixelated wave washes over the screen, updating the layout with ever more complex dot patterns and an increasing number of Ghosts. The speed starts ramping up and the difficulty starts spiking.
It's frantic stuff, but with the course timers measuring in 3, 5 minute spurts (and some Time Trials are around the 30 second mark) it fits perfectly to mobile play. Controls are basic, swipes in any of the four directions to alter Pac-Man's route (and a two-finger pinch out activating bombs) means this works fine for one-handed play. There's an in-built moment of slo-mo when you come close to a Ghost, and there's a generous hit-box so you can squeeze past Ghosts to make round corners to safety. Both are crucial in making the game feel fair on mobile - touch input just doesn't feel as fast as a click of a stick or pad.
It's still a great modern refresh of the classic and worth the asking price.
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