List of Pac-Man clones
In video gaming, Pac-Man clones are unauthorized versions of Namco's popular maze chase arcade game Pac-Man or games that wholesale borrow the design of 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.
Like the original game, Pac-Man clones typically have the goal of clearing a maze of dots while eluding deadly adversaries. When special dots are eaten, the protagonist can chase and consume the pursuers for a brief period. Clones may vary the audio/visual theme, use different maze layouts, slightly tweak features, or even invert elements such as filling the maze rather than emptying it, but they have the same general feel of Pac-Man.
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   and an Apple II version in January 1983 . 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.
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" 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. Midway, owners of the Pac-Man copyrights, were granted summary judgment for copyright and trademark infringement in 1983.
Contemporary home system clones
K.C. Munchkin is 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.
CatChum is 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.
Munch Man is a 1982 clone from Texas Instruments for the TI-99/4A home computer. Instead of clearing a maze, the player fills it with "links" (in Munch Man parlance)—a change made by TI to avoid possible lawsuits.
Snapper for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron were faithful clones of the Namco arcade game Pac-Man. released by Acornsoft in 1982. 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. 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.
Taxman for the Apple II is a Pac-Man clone programmed by Brian Fitzgerald and other students from La Sierra High School, Atari sued Fitzgerald and he sold the port to Atari which they ended up selling 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 released 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.
Jawbreaker for the Atari 8-bit family re-themed the gameplay, winning a best action game award in 1983 and later forming a section of Steven Levy's book, Hackers. Atari threatened to sue the publishers, Sierra Online, but this simply made them mad and they released the game anyway. They won the ensuing lawsuit.
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- Dirkschneider I, 543 F.Supp. at 477
- Midway Mfg. Co. v. Dirkschneider (Dirkschneider II), 571 F.Supp. 282 (D. Neb. 1983)
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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.
- Edwards, Dave A. "Snapper". Retrieved 2010-10-03.
1983: SNAPPER, Acornsoft, £9.20 (Tape), £16.50 (ROM Cart)
- 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.
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Snapper was one of the first Video Arcade Conversions made for the BBC by AcornSoft.
- 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.
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