Playing Pac Man in the Dark? A Horror Reimaging of the Classic

Some games are meant to be re-imagined to become a different product than its original creators had intended. Pac-Man is cheery and happy-go-lucky, but can you imagine him in a shoot ’em up game? With Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures due to hit shelves in the Fall of 2013 and a cartoon broadcasting on Disney XD, that may well be the direction the licensed character may well be going. In the ‘toon, his friends carry the guns while all he has to do is float around to eat the ghosts up.

But how well can this yellow ball with a veracious appetite work in a Resident Evil kind of way? Or rather, as a played in a first person shooter environment? Online gaming website Kongregate and game designer Tom Davies has changed the ingredients around and turned the game into a fascinating crawl up your spine. In his version of the game, FPS Man, a free to play product, the creepy music gives the game environment a sense of dread. While the maze seems familiar, it is not. The map on the top right of the screen only shows where the pellets and power ups are, not the ghosts. That makes for a huge load of difference in attempting to play a stealth game. A fast response with the keyboard and mouse is required! And since this game is in the first person perspective, players do not really know where the ghosts are until it is too late!

To really amp up the creep factor, Davies could have had the maze walls completely disappear as each glowing pill gets gobbled up. To have players navigate in the dark would have made game play more than challenging. It’d be like walking in a blackened attic with plenty of items to bump against to jar the nerves.

The ghosts that sneak up on could go BOO! and players could fly off their chair. The 3D rendering of the Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde are simple, and their stoic presence only makes the creepiness of playing this game worse. Well, players willing to let their imagination loose and be sleep deprived may get scared. Atmosphere is everything. This game is best played late at night with nothing but the monitor on and a storm rattling the cage of what should be a safe home.

If not, players can be warned now. This re-invention of the wheel is addicting. Don’t play this game at work, or the boss will get you instead.

4.5 out of 5

Click here to play FPS Man.

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