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Atari 2600

Atari 1981



Why am I doing a review of a game is so incredibly common? Becasue the fact that it is so common means everyone who starts collecting 2600 stuff will run into it. Some advice: Run in the opposite direction instead.

For anyone who wasn't around back then, Pac-Man was the first big game, ever. It was the game that made video games. It was the first game to have merchandise, cereal, a Saturday morning cartoon, etc. The little Pac-Man death noise has become a cultural icon for whenever somebody loses at something. But this translation absolutely stinks like a pile of dogshit up to high heaven. How the most popular game of all time got such an incredible shit treatment at the hands of Atari's programmers is beyond me.

Just look at it, what the hell is this? Even when I was six years old I was disappointed with it. The sound is way off, the graphics aren't even close, the stupid maze doesn't even look the same. The Pac-man sprite doesn't even turn around when you change direction, as in when you go up, he's still facing sideways, etc. I know the 2600 isn't a powerhouse in the graphics and sounds department, but with a little effort a halfway decent translation should have been possible.

In fact, it was possible, because other 2600 Pac-Man ripoffs like Jawbreaker do a much better job. Supposedly the guy in charge of this didn't really like the game. This guy didn't even try. What an asshole.

Whenever Atari people get mad at me for badmouthing thier favorite games from thier youth, I make a nonchalant little refrence to Pac-Man. This is the reason the market fell out, this is the reason Atari is dead. Because they didn't give a shit.

Graphics: Done in that good ol' 2600 Lego-brick style, except the Ghosts, which are all one color.

Sound: One "Dank!" for eating the dots, one for getting eaten yourself, and a very, very, very half-assed attempt at the opening Pac-Man theme.

Gameplay: Like walking though ten feet of snow with fifty pounds of beef strapped to your legs. But slower than that.

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