A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures has some animated, over-the-top combat sequences wherein the yellow hero can chomp on ghosts and other enemies, use magic blasts (like fire or ice), consume power-ups to destroy enemies, or hop into vehicles that can shoot projectiles at baddies. There's also a bit of comic mischief in the game: Pac-Man belches loudly.
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What's it about?
Based on the animated television series of the same name, PAC-MAN AND THE GHOSTLY ADVENTURES stars the famous yellow Pac-Man, the round guy with a yen for chomping scared ghosts and power pellets -- just as in the classic 2-D arcade game from the '80s. In this 3-D adventure, Pac-Man attempts to thwart the evil plans of Betrayus and his Netherworld ghost minions to save PacWorld and its innocent inhabitants. The third-person game lets you run and jump through various stages, munch on power-ups that give Pac-Man special temporary powers (such as bouncing like a pinball, spinning like a top, or freezing ghosts solid), and use wacky fruit-themed vehicles, such as cherry helicopters to lemon spaceships. With the exception of the Nintendo 3DS version, which is a side-scrolling platformer, all versions of this game are the same across platforms.
Is it any good?
It's not going to win any awards for its memorable or unique gameplay, but it's not a bad cartoon adventure for older kids and tweens. In fact, if you can make it through the lame first few minutes of gameplay, you'll find the single-player campaign offers some fun platforming and combat elements -- and a lot of variety between stages, too. A four-person multiplayer mode lets gamers take on the roles of the four mischievous ghosts -- Inky (blue), Blinky (red), Pinky (pink), and Clyde (yellow) -- to see who can catch Pac-Man in a chase through intricate mazes. It's enjoyable -- for a while -- but a bit more depth in the competitive mode would have gone a long way toward adding more replayability. It's also worth noting that you can unlock classic 2-D arcade-style mini games. PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures isn't horrible, but for $30 to $40 you should expect more. Perhaps rent it for a weekend or borrow a friend's game to see if it's for you and your family.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions
- Skills: Self-Direction: achieving goals, time management
Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, investigation, solving puzzles
- Price: $39.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Namco Bandai
- Release date: November 5, 2013
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires, Wild animals
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.