Ms. Pac-Man is an arcade game released in 1981. Unlike its predecessor Pac-Man, this game was not developed by Namco, but by Midway through an outside company called General Computer Corporation that created this game as a hack of Pac-Man that they originally intended to release as Crazy Otto. After the game became wildly popular, Midway and General Computer Corporation undertook a brief legal battle concerning royalties, but because the game was accomplished without Namco's consent, both companies eventually turned over the rights of Ms. Pac-Man to Namco, fearing a lawsuit. Nonetheless, Ms. Pac-Man was the first of a series of unauthorized sequels that eventually led to the termination of the licensing agreement between Namco and Midway.
The game features four different screens and moving fruit, whereas the original Pac-Man had only one screen and stationary fruit. (The Tengen and Williams versions released for the NES, the Genesis, and the Super Nintendo had a total of 36 different screens.) The Atari 2600 version has four skill levels that let you choose how many ghosts you wish to contend with.
The player guides Ms. Pac-Man through the mazes eating dots and avoiding the ghosts that want to devour her. Use the power pellets to turn the tables on the ghosts and eat them, and escape from one side of the maze to the other by using the tunnels.
After a few screens, like Pac-Man, an intermission plays, this time detailing the romanticism of both Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man.
- Pellet -- 10 points
- Power pellet -- 50 points
- Blue ghost -- 200 points (first), 400 (second), 800 (third), and 1600 (fourth)
- Fruit prizes
- Cherry -- 100 points
- Strawberry -- 200 points
- Orange -- 500 points
- Pretzel -- 700 points
- Apple -- 1000 points
- Pear -- 2000 points
- Banana -- 5000 points
Ms. Pac-Man as "Video Game Babe"
It is presumed that the creation of the Ms. Pac-Man character was the introduction to a type of character referred to as the "video game babe," a prominent feature that would show up in later generations of video games as graphics technology evolved to show realistic female humanoid forms to appeal to the core audience of male gamers.
Namco released a limited-release version of this game for the NES which is more closer to the Gameboy version in appearance and gameplay.
An arcade-faithful homebrew adaptation of this game was developed for the ColecoVision and released in 2009 as Pac-Man Collection, which also features an arcade-faithful adaptation of Pac-Man and Pac-Man Plus.
The Game Boy Color version of this game also includes a portable version of Super Pac-Man as a bonus game.