A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that these are faithful recreations of classic arcade games. They're old, kind of silly, and at times frustrating, but ultimately rewarding.
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What's it about?
The idea for NAMCO MUSEUM DS is simple: Namco lets you play eight old but classic video games: Pac-Man, The Tomb of Druaga, Galaxian, Galaga, Dig Dug II!, Xevious, Mappy, and Pac-Man Vs. Of these, the two Pac-Man games standout as classics.
In Pac-Man, you control a little half-rounded figure who eats dots that appear in a changing maze. You dodge ever-faster ghosts in the pursuit of dots, power pellets, and fruit. With Pac-Man Vs, you can play a multiplayer version of Pac-Man using only one game cartridge, but each player must own a DS. One player becomes Pac-Man while up to three other players become ghosts that chase him through the maze; whichever ghost catches Pac-Man gets to become Pac-Man in the next round.
Is it any good?
Unfortunately these games were built to be played in a vertical coin-operated system and the DS screen is horizontally shaped. Even with this not ideal screen fit, the controls are terrific, and the game selection has a few bona fide hits in it. For some people, Pac-Man Vs. is reason enough to own this museum. You can't play it in single player, but if you have friends with DS units, this is a great game to play together.
Namco Museum DS is not a bad deal if you want a trip down memory lane but it becomes a definite purchase if you have friends who enjoy playing Pac-Man Vs together. It would have been a better compilation if it had included fan favorite Ms. Pac Man. Your kids won't believe how simple and how primitive video games once were. But they'll be impressed -- or frustrated -- by how challenging they still are.
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