PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures

Common Sense Media says

Mediocre action platformer tied to the animated show.

Age(i)

2
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5
6
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9
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11
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

In the single-player game, you control Pac-Man, a round and yellow hero who fights against a villain by running around various levels, chomping ghosts and other enemies, and using cartoon weapons like ice blasts and fireballs. The message is about defeating evil, but you do so mostly with combat.

Positive role models

There's not much of a backstory to Pac-Man, the game's protagonist, but he seems like a noble, happy hero who wants to stop an evil villain and his henchman. In multiplayer mode, you also can play as the "bad guy" ghosts. Perhaps his character can be better assessed from the TV show of the same name.

Ease of play

Although a little tricky to control at times, the game has a relatively shallow learning curve as you master Pac-Man's movements and attacks.

 

Violence

The game has some cartoon violence, such as chomping on enemies and using magical weapons like ice blasts and shock waves to destroy them. The game also lets you drive vehicles that can shoot projectiles to harm enemies (who disappear once defeated). 

 

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game is based on an animated Disney XD television series of the same name.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • investigation
  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • time management

What Kids Can Learn

PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • investigation
  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • time management

PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Marc Saltzman

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Most video games based on TV shows and movies don't fare so well. How did Namco Bandai do with this game, which is based on a Disney XD television series? What went right and wrong? 

  • Also, is Pac-Man -- an '80s icon -- still relevant today? Or should he retire?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U, Windows
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 (Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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