Just like the iconic tile-matching game Tetris, you might presume there are only so many ways you can improve on Pac-Man’s core game mechanics. But just like Tetris, Nintendo wants to prove you wrong. In the spirit of Tetris 99, Nintendo has just launched PAC-MAN 99 that pits 99 players against each other in a race to become Pac-One, the last Pac standing in what an adrenaline-inducing game of pure mayhem.
Battle royale games like Fortnite and PUBG may have you thinking of almost a hundred Pac-Man chomping along a single “map”. That would have probably been interesting but Nintendo found a way to keep the core of the game similar while still making it just as chaotic as a battle royale game. Each of the 99 players still gets their own “board” but, in addition to racing against ghosts, players also get the opportunity to thwart others’ progress.
At the heart of PAC-MAN 99 is the concept of Jammer Pac-Man. Every ghost you successfully chomp on (after eating a power pellet, of course), gets sent to some random players’ board as a “ghost” Pac-Man that causes you to slow down when you bump into them. And then there are these “sleeper ghosts” that you can gobble up to create a trail of ghosts following your ghastly nemeses.
Why would you want that, you ask? So that when you do chomp those real ghosts, you send even more Jammer Pac-Men to your rivals! As with any modern game, PAC-MAN 99 has its fair share of presets and power-ups to keep you on your toes.
PAC-MAN 99 is now available for the Nintendo Switch but only as an exclusive for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. There are also paid DLCs you can grab to mix things up a bit and change your game’s appearance to look like a Xevious or GALAGA game instead.