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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a faithful adaptation of the original Ms. Pac-Man arcade game from the 1980s. It is a maze game. For those who grew up playing it, it is just as simple and/or challenging as you remember it, but it will cost you far fewer quarters. Our review is based on the iPhone app; the Android app may have some differences in functionality.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
First, choose from one of three control schemes (tilting the device, using an on-screen joystick, or swiping). Then start moving the little yellow Ms. Pac-Man around the maze, gobbling up dots and fruit and avoiding or eating ghosts and earning points. For all intents and purposes, the game on this app plays the same as the MS. PAC-MAN that many parents will remember from the early days of video games, with a few additional options and no real-life joystick.
Is it any good?
This mobile version of MS PAC-MAN is almost exactly the same as the old-school stand-up version you remember from arcades past. Sure, you don't have that visceral joystick control, but the new touchscreen controls work just great (well, two of the three do). This is the kind of game that feels right at home on a mobile device (as many classic arcade games now do). It's basically the same task over and over, with increasing difficulty each time -- a description which is most definitely not meant as an insult. Kids today will look at Ms. Pac-Man as both a curious artifact from their parents' generation and an entertaining timekiller no different from many of the other app games they're likely to play. Our only gripe: Why does it cost the relatively steep five dollars?