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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players have to be smart if they want to survive.
Positive Role Models
Pac-Man is a binge-eating pill popper who enjoys eating ghosts of his enemies.
Ease of Play
Simple controls, but not an easy game to master.
Violence & Scariness
After eating a power pill, Pac-Man can chomp blue ghosts, though there's no blood, gore.
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Products & Purchases
Players can earn coins they can redeem for special power-ups that will be dropped into their next game.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pac-Man 256 is a simple arcade game based on the game they played when they were kids. Now they can play it with their kids, since this version adds a four-player co-op option. But while this doesn't have any violence, blood, gore, or naughty language, it does feature a pill-popping binge eater who, when juiced up, eats blue ghosts.
Is It Any Good?
Inspired by a bug in the original game, this new version of the arcade classic has our circular hero running around a maze in hopes of eating all the dots while avoiding a glitch in the system that will kill him. As you move upward, you'll also run across fruits that will multiply your score, power-ups that include a laser that destroys any enemies in your line of sight, and the classic power-up that turns the ghosts dark blue and edible -- but, unlike in the original game, you don't just have to contend with four ghosts who are constantly running around. There are many more, and some will actually stand still, blocking your path. This also doesn't have a single maze that resets after you've eaten all the dots. Instead, it's an endless maze that constantly adds new passages as you head up and away from the deadly glitch. All of which adds up to a rather addictive and unique take on this still-fun arcade classic -- one that may confuse young fans who know Pac-Man as a cartoon hero but will engage anyone who remember him as an arcade icon.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.