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SNES Cover art
|Release date(s)||January 1995|
|Mode(s)||Single player, Two player|
Pac-In-Time (パックインタイム) is a video game developed by Kalisto and published by Namco, featuring the popular arcade character Pac-Man. It was released in 1994 for MS-DOS, Macintosh, Super Nintendo and Game Boy. It was released shortly after Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures, which brought about the change from the classic arcade versions of Pac-Man to the development of more complex and adventurous games.
This game was an offshoot from the normal variety of Pac-Man games, in that it does not confine Pac-Man to a maze-like board. Rather, the player controls Pac-Man through various side-scrolling levels, obtaining many different items along the way; the plot does take elements from the earlier Pac-Man games, such as the objective to collect a certain number of pellets before exitting a level. The game allows the player to access completed levels via passwords that are given every five levels.
The game is a rebranded version of a 1993 game, Fury of the Furries, also developed by Kalisto. The PC, Macintosh and Game Boy versions are almost identical to the original, while the Super Nintendo game, despite using the same basic gameplay mechanics, is an entirely new game using a different game engine and aesthetic.
Pac-In-Time was originally supposed to have a Sega Mega Drive / Genesis version and a Game Gear version, but both versions on Sega consoles got cancelled (however, a Game Gear prototype was made, and play similar to the Game Boy version).
Pac-Man's arch nemesis, the Ghost Witch, has cast a spell on Pac-Man that has transported him back in time to the days of his youth. By fighting through snowy mountains and forests, swimming through water and swinging through trees, collecting fireballs and bubbles and facing enemies such as bats and ghosts, he must find his way back to his present day.
The player controls Pac-Man as he must find his way through five different worlds, each with 10 different levels. Each level contains about 30 different Pac-Pellets that must be found in order to complete it. The end of the level is marked with a door that is only opened once all of the required pellets have been collected. Along the way, Pac-Man will run into many enemies — most of which are just native to the environment of the level, such as bats, birds, rats, worms, carnivorous plants, ram-like creatures, etc. Pac-Man also runs across his long-time enemies, the ghosts, who appear frequently in every level and chase after Pac-Man. Fortunately, there are Power Pellets along the way, and Pac-Man can use these to devour the ghosts in his typical fashion.
Unique to this game, Pac-Man can also acquire four different abilities that will help him finish his quest and defeat his enemies. Each of these abilities can be obtained by jumping through one of four different colored rings. Although Pac-Man can hold all four abilities at once, he can only use one at a time by rotating between them. This game style was used in Kalisto's earlier game Fury of the Furries.
There are many other items that help Pac-Man out in his quest. He can find many food items that replenish portions of his health, as well as extra lives along the way. There are also the Power Pellets to use when there are approaching ghosts. Certain elements and levels vary slightly from system to system.
The game was successful in part due to its branding of the Pac-Man name, as well as bringing about a new genre of Pac-Man games, which would continue to be successful in later generation game systems. The graphics were colorful and pleasant, and the game's simplistic gameplay made it fun for Pac-Man fans and non-fans alike. Pac-Man's evolution in this game helped it become successful in later games, as gamers wanted more than just a yellow ball going across the screen.