Pac-Man Friends Review (iOS)
Pac-Man Friends is a physics based games that brings a refreshing spin to the tried and true franchise. Power pellets and gobbling up ghosts never gets old, but it's refreshing to see Pac-Man explore an entirely new dimension.
Although portions of the original game's score can be heard during the beginning of each level, Pac-Man Friends pays homage to the iconic video game without wearing out its welcome. To complete each maze, our hero must eat all the pellets on the level without bumping into any ghosts. When all the pellets are consumed, a portal opens up, leading players to the next chapter.
A huge aspect of the game lies in Pac-Man's interdependence with his friends. Some of his colleagues have the ability to light up darkened rooms or, better yet, phase through ghosts without getting killed. Each of these friends play an important part in completing each maze, and don't be surprised if his buddies end up doing most of his dirty work in retrieving such items as fruits and keys.
Tilt and touch controls are the options for gameplay, and if you're craving a more difficult journey, use the tilt mechanisms. Whether it's on mobile or a tablet, navigating Pac-Man and his crew can get hairy at times, especially since it's harder to accelerate while you're moving your device six ways to Sunday.
With touch controls, you'll get directional arrows on the left side of your screen, with up and down arrows located on the right side. Pressing on any of the arrows accelerates everyone in your group, and under the touch option everything has a seamless, synchronized feel, thus making each maze much easier to complete.
I've played over 30 levels using the tilt controls and even though I had my shares of frustrations on certain levels, I had much more fun using this option. Having less control and relying on my sense of coordination and timing, at least within Pac-Man's universe, was much more palatable than rushing through each level with four directional arrows at my disposal.
Pac-Man Friends also doesn't skimp on the variety of mazes to conquer. Whether its dodging a buzz saw or teleporting from square to square, each level brings its own distinct challenge. For example, you can earn up to three stars per level, but earning all of the stars is rarely a piece of cake. Some stages will require you to not eat a power pellet and instead navigate Pac-Man away from the ghosts as he and his friends eat the regular pellets to open up the door to the next level.
Once all the pellets are eaten, you will have a certain number of seconds to get the heck out of Dodge. If you don't make it in time, you will either restart the game or use up one of the cherries you've collected to continue the mission.
Cherries are used to regenerate your life and if you want to slow down enemy ghosts, you'll utilize an hourglass. Both items are in-app purchases, but since they are also offered as free daily rewards, shelling out anymore than the $4.99 to download the base game is unnecessary.
Although it's not free to play, this app offers a solid bang for one's buck by offering gamers a ton of levels without the necessity of purchasing premium items. Like the original game, Pac-Man Friends is also entirely addictive experience. Even though it's a perfect pick up and play experience, I won't be shutting down my tablet anytime soon.
This review is based on a code provided by the publisher of Pac-Man Friends for iOS.