Pac the Man X full review

McSebi specialises in creating Mac-only homages to classic arcade games. The company’s MacDo, for example, is a variation on the coin-op game Mr. Do; Bub & Bob is their answer to Bubble Bobble; and Pac the Man is a glowing tribute to that classic of classics – Pac Man. Now the company has released Pac the Man X, an all-new version that features 25 new levels, support for the latest Macs, and a hard to beat price – it’s free.

Pac the Man isn’t a clone or an emulation of the original game. But it is cut from the same cloth. You manoeuvre around a maze, as either Pac Man or Ms Pac Man, eating pellets and the occasional piece of fruit while avoiding the ghosts who are constantly on your tail. Chomping on power-ups lets you turn the tables and eat the ghosts for a short period of time. Fruits can double your score, double your speed or make you invulnerable for a while. And that’s pretty much all there is to it.

If you don’t want to go solo, you and a friend can play simultaneously on the same Mac (there’s no support for networked gaming). You can also tweak the game’s difficulty levels to suit the abilities of different gamers. And to make things even harder there’s a new difficulty level: Master. Available for single player only, Master plunges the levels into total darkness. Spooky.

Thanks to an updated OpenGL graphics engine, the game’s animation effects are silky smooth and much improved. There are also stereo sound effects and multiple music themes; you can set the themes to play randomly or just choose the ones you like. To make things more interesting, this version of the game also includes a level editor, which lets you design your own levels, or copy and modify existing ones, changing the maze’s colour and style, ghost wait times and much more.

The latest version of the game (1.0.2) is Universal, so it should run well on a new iMac or MacBook Pro. But you don’t need the latest hardware to play. Considering that McSebi doesn’t ask you for a penny to play this game, what have you got to lose?

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