The arcade video game Pac-Man was first launched in Japan on 22nd May, 1980. The Japanese video game publishing company Namco developed Pac-Man and Midway licensed the game to distribute it in the US. The game has continued its immense popularity until today and is counted among the classic video games. It was an icon of the popular culture during the 1980s. Different versions of the game have also been created. All these derivatives were considered to be a social phenomenon selling various merchandises and inspiring an animated television show and a hit single.

At the time of Pac-Man's release, various space shooter games such as Asteroids and Space Invaders were most popular among the arcade games. There were also a few popular sports games that mostly derived for the video game called Pong. Pac-Man appealed to both boy and girls of different ages by developing a new genre of arcade games. This game is counted among the most popular and grossing video games ever.

Pac-Man Image The main characters from Pac-Man have made appearances in over 30 officially licensed spin-offs of the game and numerous unauthorized bootlegs and clones. Ii is also counted among the longest- running game franchises created during the 1980s, golden age of arcade games. The Smithsonian institution in Washington, D.C. displays this game along with Dragon's Lair and Pong.

Pac-Man Gameplay

In this game, the player has to take control of Pac-Man and navigate him through a maze to eat the small pellets called "Pac-Dots". The player has to eat all the pallets in order to finish one stage and move on to the next one. There are four enemies named Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde who wander in the maze and try to catch Pac-Man. These enemies are collectively known as the "ghosts", "monsters" and "goblins". The player loses a life if Pac-man gets caught by an enemy. The game is over once the player loses all the lives. The player is awarded one bonus life automatically after scoring 10,000 points. There are DIP switches that can change the amount of points required for getting a bonus life or disable the option of the bonus life.

There are four large pellets located near the maze's corners that can give Pac-Man the temporary power of eating the enemies. These flashing dots are called the "Power Pallets". Once the Pac-man eats a Power Pallets, all the enemies temporarily turn a dark shade of blue, change direction and move slowly. When Pac-Man eats an enemy, its eyes return to the box located at the center of the gameboard and the enemy is restored to its normal color. The deep blue enemies flash and turn dangerous again after a short time. The time duration over which the monsters remain vulnerable varies depending on the level of the game. It usually gets shorter with the progression of the game. In the later levels of the game the enemies start flashing, bypassing the phase where they turn blue when Pac-man eats a Power Pallet. In more advanced stages, they just reverse their direction but do not become vulnerable at all.

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