|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2014)|
North American Boxart
|Publisher(s)||Namco Bandai Games|
- Not to be confused with the similarly titled but completely different "Pac-Man's Arcade Party", which is an arcade machine containing a compilation of over ten 1980s Namco arcade games.
Pac-Man Party is a party game by Namco Bandai Games for the Wii and Nintendo 3DS and a replacement for the cancelled Pac-Man Carnival. In the game's story mode, players must retrieve a stolen cookie recipe from Pac-Man's enemies Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde by going to a location called Mirage Oasis and return the recipe to its rightful owner, Mr. Cookie.
The game was released to coincide with Pac-Man's 30th anniversary. A scaled-down version was also released for Windows Phone.
The game includes a story mode known as "Mr. Cookie's Recipe". It also has a party mode for up to four players. It also has over 50 minigames, which when played, allows players to unlock bonus content. It also has a "Classic Games" mode where players can play three classic Namco arcade games which are Pac-Man, Galaga, and Dig Dug. The 3DS version of the game allows players to do link-up 4 player with only one cartridge. The Wii version has two extra boards that the 3DS version does not have. A scaled down version on Windows Phone has 2D graphics and contains 10 mini games. It lacks the "Classic Games" mode that the Wii and 3DS versions have but all three of the games from that mode have been released on Windows Phone as separate titles.
In the game all players start at Mr. Cookie's factory with 1000 cookies to start with. The main object is to collect the number of cookies, and get to the cookie factory to win. When a player goes to an empty space or an empty castle, the player can build a castle or claim it. When players go to their own castle they receive cookies (depending on the level). A player landing on an opponent's castle will battle in a minigame (attack and defense). If the attacking player wins, the player takes the opponent's castle. If the defending player wins, the attack player/players lose the number of cookies (depending on the castle's level). If a player lands on a Millionaire Manor, something good may happen. If a player lands on a Tarot Tent, something bad may happen. If a player lands on Dr. Labo's Lab, the player might go to a different space. Should the player pass an exclamation point (!) space enough times, and something major will happen, and then the player will play a boss minigame. The player can then return to the cookie factory to get a cookie bonus along with a castle bonus for each castle gained.
Pac-Man Party has received mixed reviews upon release. Nintendo Power gave both versions a mere 4.5, while its November 2011 issue called the 3DS version a "lackluster hybrid of Monopoly and Mario Party". Nintendo Power also called the 3DS' version of the mini-games "seldom satisfying", and criticized it for its frustrating controls. However, they praised the 3DS version for slightly better music and ports of Pac-Man, Galaga, and Dig Dug. Metacritic gave the game 59% based on 14 reviews, while its user score based on 24 votes gave a more positive rating of 68%. GamesRaider criticized its repetitive and annoying sounds and the game's Story Mode (calling it too easy and the only type in the game). However, it praised its graphics, fun mini-games, and brightful and playful tone. GameInformer gave this game 6.75/10.0, calling the Al a little inconsistent and not the most exciting game to pull out at someone's own party. GameRankings gave the game 61.96%, a more positive review. Official Nintendo Magazine gave the 3DS version of the game a score of 37, saying it was like a "stale pack of Jammie Dodgers with a best before date that expired in the late 1990s." GamesMaster (magazine) also gave the 3DS version a negative review, giving it a score of 40.