List of Pac-Man clones

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In video gaming, Pac-Man clones are unauthorized versions of Namco's popular maze chase arcade game Pac-Man. The combined sales of counterfeit arcade machines sold nearly as many units as the original Pac-Man, which had sold more than 300,000 machines.[1]

Arcade clones[edit]

Haunted A JavaScript based, multiplayer clone of PacMan where one could be a Ghost or PacMan. It was developed by ActiveRecord Studios in New York City using Phazer and FireBase. http://haunted-game.herokuapp.com

Hangly-Man (a mangling of the Japanese pronunciation of hungry man (Japanese: ハングリーマン Hangurī Man)) was one of the most notable Pac-man clones, a variant of which was Caterpillar Pac-Man made in 1981 by Phi. In the latter, one plays as a caterpillar, and the ghosts are replaced by spiders. Another notable clone was New Puck-X, which used an altered design of the original board, but, otherwise, the gameplay and graphics were identical to the original game. There was also a clone titled Piranha where Pac-Man was replaced by a Piranha & the ghosts are replaced by squids. Also, there were no borders in the maze & the power-pellets were replaced with sea shells.

Lock 'n' Chase was developed and published by Data East in Japan in 1981, and was later published in North America by Taito. The game was later licensed to Mattel who produced the Intellivision and Atari 2600 home console versions in 1982 [1] [2] and an Apple II version in January 1983 [3]. Telegames later re-published the game for the Atari 2600 after acquiring rights from Mattel. Data East released a Nintendo Game Boy version of the game in 1990. [4] Here, Pac-Man was replaced with a thief stealing coins from a bank vault. The ghosts were replaced with police, and the thief could temporarily block passages with doors.

Ms. Pac-Man was a General Computer Corporation (GCC)[2] conversion for the Pac-Man arcade game, originally called Crazy Otto. While Crazy Otto was under development, GCC settled a lawsuit with Atari over their Missile Command conversion kit Super Missile Attack. Part of the settlement terms barred GCC from selling future conversion kits without consent from the original game manufacturer. Rather than scrapping Crazy Otto entirely, the programmers decided to show it to Midway, Namco's American distributor of the original game. Midway had become impatient in waiting for Namco to release its next Pac-Man game (which would be Super Pac-Man), and were enthusiastic that such a game had come to their attention. They bought the rights to Crazy Otto, changed the sprites to fit the Pac-Man universe, renamed the game Ms. Pac-Man, and released it into arcades.[3]

Mighty Mouth was a game by A-1 Machines that District Court Judge Warren Keith Urbom described as "for all practical purposes, identical to ...Pac-Man"[4] Among the similarities cited were the color and shape of the player character and ghosts, the maze configurations, the sound effects, the paths of the characters in the attract mode and the paths of the characters in both the attract mode and a game where the player does not move.[5] Midway, owners of the Pac-Man copyrights, were granted summary judgment for copyright and trademark infringement in 1983.[6]

Contemporary home computer / console clones[edit]

CatChum was a text-only Pac-man clone for Kaypro's early line of luggable home computers. It was created by Yahoo Software and released in 1982 and 1983. Because the early Kaypros did not have graphics capability, this clone used dashes and various punctuation marks to construct a maze. The letter A served as ghosts and the fruits were replaced by dollar signs. The Pac-man was a letter C which went from upper to lower case, intermittently, to simulate a chomping Pac-man. A major down side of the game was that early Kaypros were not able to flip text characters. As a result, the CatChum Pac-man was always facing right, even when chomping pills on its left.

K.C. Munchkin was a 1981 release in the official line of games for the Magnavox Odyssey². It is very heavily based on Namco's 1980 arcade game Pac-Man, but not a direct clone. It was however, similar enough for Atari to sue Philips and force them to cease production of Munchkin. In 1982, an Appellate court found that Phillips had copied Pac-Man and made alterations that "only tend to emphasize the extent to which it deliberately copied the Plaintiff's work." The ruling was one of the first to establish how copyright law would apply to the look and feel of computer software.

Munch Man was a 1982 Texas Instruments Pac-man clone for the TI-99 home computer, in which the player lays down a "track" (or "links", in Munch Man parlance), as he progresses through the maze instead of eating pills — a change made by TI to avoid possible lawsuits from Midway.

Snapper for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron were faithful clones of the Namco arcade game Pac-Man.[7] released by Acornsoft in 1982 and 1983.[8][9] In development, the game was titled Puc Man (the first Japanese title of the arcade game was Puck Man) but the name was changed before release to avoid legal action. However, the initial release of the game was so close to Pac-Man (including the design of the game's characters) that this version had to be withdrawn and re-released with the characters changed.[10][11] The player's character became a round yellow face with very short legs wearing a green cowboy hat and the ghosts became skinny humanoid monsters.

Tax Man for the Apple II was a Pac-Man clone programed by Brian Fitzgerald and other students from La Sierra High School,[12] Atari sued Fitzgerald and he ending up selling the port to Atari which they ended up selling it as a licensed version of the game.

Jelly Monsters for the Commodore VIC-20 is a faithful port of Namco's Pac-Man by HAL Laboratory who had the home computer rights to Namco's games in Japan at the time, but when the games were release in North America, the names were changed to avoid legal issues with Atari, Inc. who had the home computer rights in North America to Jelly Monsters for the VIC-20 which was published by Commodore International, Atari ended up suing HAL and Commodore anyway and won the lawsuit, Atari pulled off HAL's VIC-20 port and released their own version, after the lawsuit HAL sold the Japanese home computer rights to Dempa who ended up porting the game to many home computers in Japan, this excluded the MSX version of the game of which Namco ported themselves under their Namcot branding.[13]

Devil World for the Famicom is a Pac-Man clone designed by Shigeru Miyamoto[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leonard Herman, Jer Horwitz, Steve Kent, Skyler Miller (2002). "The History of Video Games". GameSpot. p. 7. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Ms. Pac-Man Videogame by Midway (1981) - The International Arcade Museum and the KLOV
  3. ^ Doug Macrae from GCC speaks at California Extreme 2010
  4. ^ Midway Mfg. Co. v. Dirkschneider (Dirkschneider I), 543 F.Supp. 466, 477 (D. Neb. 1981)
  5. ^ Dirkschneider I, 543 F.Supp. at 477
  6. ^ Midway Mfg. Co. v. Dirkschneider (Dirkschneider II), 571 F.Supp. 282 (D. Neb. 1983)
  7. ^ Jackson, Jane (December 1983). "The Micro User Games Software Review: Snapper Acornsoft". The Micro User (Issue 1-10). Retrieved 2010-10-03. "SNAPPER is an attractive and incredibly frustrating version of Pacman." 
  8. ^ Edwards, Dave A. "Snapper". Retrieved 2010-10-03. "1983: SNAPPER, Acornsoft, £9.20 (Tape), £16.50 (ROM Cart)" 
  9. ^ Reed, Martin. "Electron Games Reviews: Play it Again Sam 7". Electron User (Issue 6.9). Retrieved 2010-10-03. "SNAPPER, Acornsoft's implementation of the ever-popular Pac Man, was one of the first games ever released for the Electron." 
  10. ^ Robinson, Oliver. "Only the Best BBC Micro Games". Retrieved 2010-10-03. "Snapper was one of the first Video Arcade Conversions made for the BBC by AcornSoft." 
  11. ^ Reeves, Alex. "Classic Retro Games". Retro Gamer. Retrieved 2010-10-03. "This is one of the many quality arcade conversions that Acornsoft created for the BBC Micro, being a very faithful example of Pac Man." 
  12. ^ "Atari Age forum post". 
  13. ^ "Generation MSX's Pac-Man page". 
  14. ^ Dan Whitehead (2008-11-17). "Virtual Console Roundup". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2010-04-28.