Pac-Man
Feature

A short history of food in videogames

It’s well known that Pac-Man, released in 1980, was the first time a game presented food as a relevant feature. At the time, arcades were flooded with musty smells, spaceships, and violent aliens. Pac-Man had to slide through a maze eating small and big pellets, all while avoiding four ghosts to beat each stage. Its five iconic fruits—cherry, strawberry, orange, apple, and melon—stood out with their vibrant colors among the greys and browns of 1970s sci-fi games. Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man, said in an interview that the game was created to appeal to women, and it did. Back in…

David Race plays Ms Pac-Man
Feature

The Pac-Man

David Race is the best Pac-Man (1980) player in the world but would never admit that. Sure, you could watch his hand move the joystick like a professional driver downshifting around a corner. Or stand there dumbstruck as he tells you where the enemies will move seconds before they do so. “Keep your eyes on Blinky,” he’ll say. And just before you have time to ask which one that is, Pac-Man does something you never thought possible: he passes through the red ghost unscathed. Watch for a little while longer and you’ll soon realize David is not reacting to the…

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News

Let Tomb of the Mask consume you with its frantic death chase

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Tomb of the Mask (iOS) HAPPYMAGENTA Tomb of the Mask brings a new perspective to the arcade game, both literally and figuratively. Combining classic Tetris (1984) and Pac-Man (1980) aesthetics, Tomb of the Mask places you in a vertically scrolling gauntlet where the goal is to eat dots and coins while the ever-present threat of an encroaching death screen threatens from below if you don’t move upwards fast enough. You can latch onto any wall in the procedurally-generated arena which, in combination with your unstoppable momentum, creates most of the game’s challenge. Along the…

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News

Let’s Play Snake brings the classic arcade hit to Twitter

With visuals that can be easily represented using only a line and a dot, and rules no more complex than “get to point b without hitting anything along the way,” classic arcade game Snake has become renowned for its simplicity and elegant design. This, in turn, has lead to its prevalence among a number of platforms, especially those that struggle for visual fidelity, such as graphing calculators and early cell phones. There’s even a version of it that can be played over your favorite YouTube videos. Now, thanks to web developer Yannick Rochat, Snake has been adapted for Twitter. Rochat’s…

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Article

How a Small Team of Australian Game-Makers Reinvented Pac-Man

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. // This past August, the latest version of Pac-Man reached #1 on the charts in Japan. This may not sound surprising. Until one considers that Pac-Man 256 is a touch-based mobile game made by a small independent studio from Melbourne, Australia. When Matt Hall and Andy Sum of Hipster Whale released their Frogger-inspired mobile game Crossy Road last November, their expectations were realistic. “We definitely didn’t expect any of this to happen,” Sum told me over the phone. “When we made Crossy Road, we knew we had a good game…