Site Map

Play-Asia.com - Japanese Video Games, Accessories & News


K. C. Munchkin

1981 Magnavox

Odyssey 2



Back in 1982 every home console scrambled to have a Pac-Man type-game of some kind. While the 2600 version of said game was pretty disappointing some of the clones added a few more twists to the maze formula.

Enter K. C. Munchkin, which at first glance looks like just another Pac-Man rip off but on closer examination turns out to be a pretty good game in it's own right. You are the namesake munchkin, and you've got to of course gobble up the dots to proceed to the next maze while avoiding evil bad guy munchkin-ghost things. However similarities to Pac-Man end there.

The dots move around the screen so you have to chase them down while the ghosts are chasing you. Also the mazes change significantly throughout the levels and aren't exactly laid out as linear as the Pac-Man mazes. They're usually (but not always) laid out in four quadrants with a revolving "door" in the center, which means certain sections will be safe for you while other sections you end up being trapped with the ghosts and have to move quickly. Later levels introduce invisible walls. The dots also move and get faster as you eat them, so eventually you're chasing them as the ghosts are chasing you. Throughout it all the difficulty steadily increases until the point where you must frantically haul ass and can't rely on predictable patterns like other maze games.

The graphics are simple, limited by the fact that each sprite seems to be made up of only one color as all Odyssey 2 games seem to be, but they animate well without any flicker. The Munchkin himself has a serene smile on his face when he stands still. Sound is pretty sparse but does the job. What's funny is that this game was somewhat notorious back in the day. Apparently Atari sued Magnavox for copyright infringement and thus kept new copies of K. C. Munchkin off the shelves (just in time for their own Pac-Man release.) However this didn't do much for rarity as the game is pretty easy to find.

Overall a fresh variant on the Pac-Man maze theme that was already getting pretty old when this game was released. You can even create your own mazes with the (pathetic) Odyssey 2 keyboard! Customizable games may be the standard nowadays but this was 1981 man! There aren't many "killer apps" for the Odyssey 2 system, and I wouldn't recommend buying it just for this game alone. But this particular game is one of the few that's worth playing.

Graphics: Clear, flicker free sprites with decent animation. They are limited by only being made up of one color.

Sound: A hypnotic "dribbling" sound as the main character moves, not much else in the way of music or anything.

Gameplay: The game scores high in this department. This is one of those games that hooks you and keeps you playing way past your bedtime. It never quite reaches the level of "twitch" gameplay but comes pretty close at times.


Back to Game Reviews