World's Biggest Pac-Man

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World's Biggest Pac-Man
Developer(s) Soap Creative
Platform(s) HTML5
Release date(s) 13 April 2011
Genre(s) Arcade Game
Mode(s) Single-player with multiplayer interaction
Distribution Web browser

World's Biggest Pac-Man is a browser game created by an Australian Soap Creative along with Microsoft and Namco-Bandai.[1] It is a Pac-Man game which differs from the original by having multiple players playing together in a series of user-created, customizable and interlocking mazes. The game was announced at the Microsoft MIX Developer Conference on 13 April 2011.[2][3]

The game was built as a HTML5 project for Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer 9 as well as a way for Namco-Bandai to celebrate the original Pac-man’s 30th birthday and to promote the future releases of Pac-Man games. A week after launching, it had 13,500 user-designed mazes and nearly 300 million dots eaten. Created as a community tribute to the original Pac-Man, it follows the guidelines that Namco-Bandai originally set for Pac-Man. The project is supposed to be community-driven and a team of moderators keep an eye out for any offensive mazes that might be created.[4]

Although no login is required, users who wish to create their own mazes or post high-scores need to sign in using Facebook Connect.[5] Although created with Internet Explorer 9 in mind, World’s Biggest Pac-Man is playable on any browser supporting HTML5.[6][7]

Gameplay[edit]

The gameplay for World’s Biggest Pac-Man is similar to classic Pac-Man, but with a few differences. As before, the goal is to eat all of the dots and power pellets in the maze without being caught by the ghosts roaming through it. The number of power pellets is not fixed at four, but is rather determined by the user who created that particular maze. In addition, there are no tunnels; instead, doorways at each edge of the screen allow Pac-Man to travel to an adjacent maze, with a new arrangement of dots and obstacles. Every maze has a fresh set of four ghosts, but they do not use the doorways. The player can move to a new maze without clearing the current one, and can return to an unfinished maze at a later time. The game continues until the player runs out of lives.[7]

Another distinct feature in World's Biggest is the ability to construct new mazes adjacent to pre-existing ones. To build a maze a Facebook account is required, and is accessed via the Facebook Connect platform. The game also has high score tables that players can attempt to top, either by competing against themselves or against other countries via country rankings. The player also has the option to display high scores online via Facebook.[5][7]

Ghosts[edit]

One aim of the game besides eating all the Pac-Dots is avoiding being defeated by any of the four ghosts. Running into a ghost will kill Pac-Man on contact, unless Pac-Man consumes a Power Pellet. These pellets, which can be more or less strategically placed when creating a maze (a minimum of 0 and a maximum of 10 per maze), will make ghosts edible to Pac-Man and turns the table completely, since now the ghosts are running away from Pac-Man instead of him being chased by the ghosts. In the original game the ghosts are hunted in a very defined pattern of Scatter, Chase and Repeat.[8] This behavior however has not been well emulated in the World's Biggest Pac-Man game, where the ghosts just aim for Pac-Man all the time. Also unlike the original, the time the ghosts remain vulnerable does not diminish as the game progresses to the point where the ghosts will only merely reverse direction. If the player leaves a board without completing it, the ghosts will remain immobile in that maze until Pac-Man returns, in which they will begin chasing him again.

Enemy Color World’s Biggest Pac-Man[9]
Character Nickname Alternate
character
Alternate
nickname
Red chaser red guy Shadow Blinky
Pink ambusher pink guy Speedy Pinky
Cyan fickle blue guy Bashful Inky
Orange stupid slow guy Pokey Clyde

Fruits[edit]

The fruits on World’s Biggest Pac-Man give the player the opportunity to earn additional points. The fruits randomly appear upon consuming a certain number of pellets on the current maze and it is not mandatory for the player to retrieve them as they are only a secondary aim and will not affect the completion of the level. By default, the fruit will be a 100-point cherry, and for every maze cleaned of pellets, the next maze attempted will advance to the next fruit and remain until the player finishes another board and the fruit value further increases. Once the player cleans seven boards, the bonus "fruit" will be indefinitely locked at the 5,000 point key until the game ends.

  • Cherry, 100 points
  • Strawberry, 300 points
  • Peach, 500 points
  • Apple, 700 points
  • Melon, 1000 points
  • Galaxian, 2000 points
  • Bell, 3000 points
  • Key, 5000 points

Maze Creation[edit]

Screenshot of World's Biggest Pac-Man creation tools

World’s Biggest Pac-Man offers the option to create your maze and this feature is what defines this game and makes it different from the original one. User has to be connected to Facebook in order to create a maze, otherwise the levels are only playable for fun and no mazes can be created. Adding a maze to a certain location has been made easy, just hover a pointer to the plus sign which can be found adjacent to other mazes and press create. Instructions are given to the user on how to use the creation tool, where there is a pencil to use for creating walls, dots and power pellets, and a rubber which can be used to remove any mistakes or changes. The creating tool also has a time limit of 60 minutes which is plenty of time for most users to create a maze, but if it is not enough, more than one maze can be created. The user has the option to reset the maze but the time limit does not reset when doing this. Once the maze is finished and the user is happy with the results, they have the option to preview their work or simply just submit it, and it would be added to the vast and growing world of all the other mazes other users have created on World’s Biggest Pac-Man. At the moment the game has a grid of 4,000 x 4,000, which supports 16 million levels.[10]

Reception[edit]

High Scores[edit]

The Guinness World Record for "The highest score on World's Biggest Pac-Man" is 5,555,552 points which was set by Stephen Kish (oddish196) on 19 August 2011.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "World's Biggest Pac-Man: About This Game". IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  2. ^ By Doug Gross, CNN (2011-04-20). "Fans gobbling up 'World's Biggest Pac-Man' game". CNN.com. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  3. ^ Epstein, Mike (14 April 2011). "This is the World's Biggest Pac-Man Game". Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Terdiman, Daniel (2011-04-21). "The making of the World's Biggest Pac-Man game (Q&A) | Geek Gestalt - CNET News". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  5. ^ a b Senior, Tom (14 April 2011). "World's Biggest Pac-Man is now free to play in your browser". Future Publishing LImited. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Stuart, Keith (2011-04-14). "World's Biggest Pac-Man becomes internet hit | Technology | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  7. ^ a b c Morris, Chris (15 April 2011). "World’s biggest Pac-Man underway". Plugged In. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "The Pac-Man Dossier". Home.comcast.net. 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  9. ^ DeMaria, Rusel; Wilson, Johnny L. (18 December 2003). High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill Osborne Media. ISBN 0-07-223172-6. 
  10. ^ Terdiman, Daniel (21 April 2011). "The making of the World's Biggest Pac-Man game (Q&A)". CBS Interactive, Inc. 
  11. ^ "World's Biggest Pac-Man: Online Game Is International Web Hit - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. 2011-04-20. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  12. ^ "Highest score on World's Biggest Pac-Man (flash game)". Guinness World Records. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 

External links[edit]