Codex Gamicus

Pac-Mania (パックマニア?) is an arcade video game in the Pac-Man series, released by Namco in 1987 and distributed by Atari Games in the United States and Europe. It is a pseudo-3D interpretation of the classic maze game genre and features most elements of the original Pac-Man, as well as several new features. Pac-Mania runs on Namco System 1 hardware.


As in Pac-Man, the objective of Pac-Mania is to score as many points as possible. The player controls Pac-Man and attempts to eat all the dots in a maze, while avoiding being caught by ghosts that roam the maze. The player can eat power pellets that cause the ghosts to turn dark blue and become vulnerable; the player can then eat these ghosts for extra points, sending them back to their pen to return to their original color and behavior.

Differences from Pac-Man[]

Pac-Mania contains several new features and significant differences from its original counterpart. The most noticeable change is the view used, cabinet projection, an oblique pseudo-3D format, in which Pac-Man always occupies the center of the screen and a virtual camera moves around the level to follow him. In addition, the player can press a button to cause Pac-Man to bounce, allowing him to evade most ghosts by bouncing over them. However, Pac-Man cannot as easily bounce over the green and steel gray ghosts because they bounce whenever the player presses the bounce button.

Joining Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde from the original Pac-Man is Sue (purple), a ghost who will home in on Pac-Man's direction and will follow him around, and two new ghosts (green and steel gray) that bounce whenever Pac-Man bounces. (It is hinted through the game's intermissions that the names of the new ghosts are Funky and Spunky, or "Common" and "Grey Common" in the Japanese version, though this is never made completely clear.) In later stages, larger numbers of ghosts appear in a single stage. Also, bonus objects in this game not only include traditional point-scoring fruits, but also power-up items that can have random effects, such as doubling the point values of ghosts or causing Pac-Man to move much faster than normal.

The game takes place in four environments: Block Town (made up of Lego-like building blocks), Pac-Man Park (a 3D version of the original Pac-Man maze), Sandbox Land (walls are made up of pyramids), and Jungly Steps (appearing as pathways with no railings, resembling a set of steps that rise toward the back of the maze). The game has a limited number of levels, after which the player is shown a brief ending and production credits, and is prompted for his/her initials if he/she has placed on the high score list. The number of levels varies by version. DIP switches in the game can be set to make the game endless.


  • For a total of ten years, the pirate Tengen version of Pac-Mania for the Nintendo Entertainment System was the only Nintendo version of the game available. In 2002 it was one of the games included in Pac-Man Collection for the Game Boy Advance. Later, in 2002, the Arcade version was re-released and included as an unlockable in Pac-Man World 2. In addition to that being the second release on a Nintendo system, Pac-Mania in Pac-Man World 2 was actually the very first official Nintendo version of the game (the NES version was from Tengen). In 2007, Pac-Mania was also released in Namco Museum Remix with Pac & Pal, Pac and Roll, Super Pac-man and other non-Pac-Man games.

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