Like most gamers from the 80’s, Pac-Man was one of the first video games I had played and grew up with. After all these years and many incarnations (some good and some definitely bad), we arrive to him making his way to mobile devices with a wild new twist on his maze-navigating fun with a few new friends along for the ride in Pac-Man Friends.
They say the more things change, the more they stay the same, and that’s exactly the case here with the main premise of Pac-Man Friends. As with his previous games, the main goal is to eat all the pellets on the stages without running into any ghosts. Once all the pellets are eaten, a portal with a time limit opens up which leads to the next stage. If you don’t make it through the portal in time, you’ll have restart the stage or use one of the cherries you’ve collected to continue. Besides the cherries, there’s an hourglass power-up that slows down enemy ghosts to help make things a tad easier. While both of these items are available for in-app purchases, you don’t need to buy them since they’re offered as free daily rewards as you play.
Of course the biggest feature here is Pac-Man’s new buddies that help him out in some of the more trickier stages later in the game. His new pals have all sorts of cool abilities, such as lighting up dark rooms or giving him the power to phase through ghosts without getting killed. You’ll need Pac’s new friends to survive and make your way through each of the stages, as each one becomes more challenging than the last and forces you to think of new ways to utilize them. Speaking of challenges, that brings me to the next big feature of the game, the controls.
Most would think the touch controls here would be easy or simple, sad to say that’s not the case here. The default controls use gyroscopic tilting your device in the direction you want Pac-Man to go. I’ll be honest, I really didn’t care for this control layout as it makes things pretty difficult in some of the later levels, especially those that feature nasty obstacles to navigate through such as saw blades and holes. While hardcore gamers are sure to enjoy that challenge, thankfully a touchscreen control option that places up/down arrows on one side of the screen and left/right on the other is also available. These controls do make things a little easier but can still take some getting used to.
The controls and stages are tricky, but Pac-Man Friends can be a lot of fun once players get into the swing of things. Nice, colorful graphics and fun sounds accompany you as you make your way through some truly unique stages. Those who love Pac-Man and challenges won’t mind spending the $5 (also available as a free download in the Google Play Store) on this maze monster that’s sure to keep those who play entertained for quite awhile.