Date of Release
May 20, 2005
Number of Players
Pac-Pix is the newest take on the classic game that is Pac Man. The same simple premise remains, Pac Man
runs around the screen, collecting items and eating ghosts. But this time the main goal is not to collect all
the coins, but to clear the level of all the ghosts.
The game takes place on both screens, with the touch screen being used the most. Instead of controlling the movement of Pac Man, you now have to create him, by drawing a Pac Man on the screen, this then comes to life, and moves in the direction he is facing. To change direction, you just draw a line in front of Pac Man. Along the way, you can make use of bombs, and a few other items too.
Pac-Pix is, as far as I know, the first game that does not use a single button as an input device during the game.
All you use through out the game is the touch screen. This makes the game unique in it's own way, and very interesting to
play. The game comprises of numerous stages in which you have to clear in order to advance. This is done by eating all the
ghosts on screen. To complete this, you must first create your Pac Man by drawing him. First the "mouth" then
completing the rest of him by drawing a circle for the back of him. Pac Man will now move in the direction that he is facing,
to get him to turn, you must draw a line in front of him, the direction in which you draw the line, will be the direction in which
Pac Man will go.
This all sounds good but how does it hold up in practice. Well, fairly well actually. 99% of the time, the game will recognize what you have drawn and respond appropriately. There may be a few occasions that it mistakes a bomb for a Pac Man, but it does not do it enough to be annoying. There is a practice mode, titled ScrapBook, in which you can draw till your heart is content. There are also a few secret things to discover in there too.
Graphics and Sound
Pac-Pix is not going to win any awards in the graphics department, but that does not mean a thing here. The style that is used fits
the game perfectly. It's simple, clear and colourful. It's certainly not going to be pushing the DS to it's limits.
Since you are the one that is drawing the Pac Man, there is no preset design here, and the one that appears ont he DS, is the one that you draw, so a simple pizza looking shape is all that is shown of Pac Man. There are a few bosses, and whilst again, they are not going to push the DS to the limits, they are clear and presented well. This really is about the extent of the graphical work in Pac Pix.
The sound is the usual mix of tunes that you would expect from Pac Man. There are little effects for eating ghosts and collecting items, but these are run of the mill Pac Man sounds, and are nothing special. This, along with the graphics, shows that this games it about one thing. A new way to play Pac Man. However the overall design holds well, and does not hold the game back.
This is possible one of the games lowest points. There are only a handful of levels, and once these are all completed, there is nothing left to do except
to beat your own high scores. There are no bonuses to unlock, (that I have found) and the main game is only going to last you a week at the most. Once you
have got to grips with drawing the Pac Man, and the power ups, there is nothing new to be learnt. You can then just run through the game.
A two player game perhaps, this would have lengthened the game a bit, and could have been a laugh at parties. But unfortunately there is not one. However, this game is still a fun game while it lasts. Being able to draw the character that you are going to play as, is rather rewarding. If only there was more to the game.
Pac Pix shows what the DS touch screen can do when it is put to good use. Using the touch screen to create the Pac Man and move him around is certainly a great use
of the DS's touch screen. However, the game just doesn't seem to match the effort put into how it is played. A few more levels, a two player mode, or plenty of bonuses
to unlock may have made this game a contender for must have title. I see this as a Must Play title.
I would certainly recommend that everyone should at least check this game out, borrow a friends, rent it, or if you like, buy it. You should at least see what all the fuss is about.