Arcade flyer (1983)
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Atari 2600, Commodore 64, MS-DOS|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players, alternating turns|
|Arcade system||Namco Pac-Man|
|CPU||1x ZiLOG Z80 @ 3.072 MHz|
|Sound||1x Namco WSG (3-channel mono) @ 3.072 MHz|
|Display||Vertical orientation, Raster, 224 x 288 resolution|
Jr. Pac-Man is an arcade game, released by Bally Midway on August 13, 1983. It is based on Pac-Man and its derivatives but, like Ms. Pac-Man, Baby Pac-Man, and Pac-Man Plus, was created without the authorization of Namco. This was one of several games that would eventually lead to the termination of the licensing agreement between Namco and Bally Midway in 1984. Unlike prior games in the series, the maze in Jr. Pac-Man scrolls horizontally.
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The gameplay of Jr. Pac-Man is very similar to that of its predecessors: The player controls the eponymous Jr. Pac-Man (who wears an animated propeller beanie), and scores points by eating all of the dots in the maze, while four ghosts chase him around the maze and attempt to kill him. The player can eat an energizer to turn the ghosts blue, making them vulnerable for a short period of time, and allowing the player to eat them for extra points. Once the maze is cleared, a new maze is presented and the gameplay continues.
The mazes are now two times the width of the monitor, and scrolls horizontally. A total of seven mazes appear throughout the game, and five of them have six energizers instead of four, but none of them have tunnels that wrap around from one side of the screen to the other. As in the previous games, bonus items (such as tricycles, kites, and balloons) appear in each round, starting above the ghost regenerator and moving around the maze like in Ms. Pac-Man. As an item encounters dots, it changes them into larger dots that are worth 50 points instead of 10, but also slow Jr. Pac-Man down as he is eating them. If an item has been out for long enough and then encounters an energizer, it will self-destruct, taking the energizer with it. If Jr. Pac-Man should die, all larger dots will disappear from the maze, except if there are only a few left—those revert to their original smaller size.
The game's intermissions center around the developing relationship between Jr. Pac-Man and a small red (female) ghost named Yum-Yum (who is apparently the daughter of Blinky). The ghost Clyde has been renamed Tim.
Jr. Pac-Man has a kill screen: reaching the 146th round causes the game to display an invisible maze that does not contain any dots, making the screen black, which will effectively end the game.
An Atari 2600 version was released by Atari Corporation in 1986 with mazes that scroll vertically rather than horizontally, but is otherwise a faithful adaptation. The game was later ported to the Commodore 64 and IBM PC compatibles.
Ports for the Atari 5200 and the Atari 8-bit family were finished in 1984, but were scrapped along with Super Pac-Man when the home computing and game console divisions of Atari, Inc. were sold to Jack Tramiel.