Pac-Man World

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Pac-Man World
Pac-Man World NA Box Art.jpg
North American PlayStation cover art
Developer(s)Namco Hometek (PS1)
Full Fat (Game Boy Advance)
Zoo Digital Publishing (EU, GBA)
Producer(s)Brian Schorr
Designer(s)Hardy LeBel
Scott Rogers
Composer(s)Tommy Tallarico
Game Boy Advance
  • NA: October 12, 1999
  • JP: November 2, 1999
  • EU: February 28, 2000
  • AU: July 8, 2000
Game Boy Advance
  • NA: November 17, 2004
  • EU: November 26, 2004
  • AU: March 3, 2005
PlayStation Network
  • JP: June 26, 2013
  • NA: February 11, 2014
Genre(s)Platform game

Pac-Man World (officially called Pac-Man World 20th Anniversary) (パックマンワールド 20th アニバーサリー, Pakkuman Wārudo 20th Anibāsarī) is a 1999 platform video game for the PlayStation and Game Boy Advance. As the name indicates, it was released to coincide with the 20th anniversary, with the character Pac-Man going to a birthday party. A Game Boy Advance version would be released in 2004, with many features removed. The original PlayStation version was released on the PlayStation Store in Japan on June 26, 2013 and in North America on February 11, 2014.


Pac-Man arrives home on his 20th birthday (it was released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the original Pac-Man arcade game) only to discover that his friends and family—Ms. Pac-Man, Baby Pac-Man, Jr. Pac-Man, Professor Pac-Man, his dog Chomp Chomp, and Pooka (a "Surprise!" guest which came from Dig Dug) have been kidnapped by the evil Toc-Man (the name of Namco's defunct console game division backwards), a giant robot Pac-Man impersonator that was created by Blinky, Inky, Pinky & Clyde's friend, Orson, who is bent on stealing Pac-Man's identity. Pac-Man sets off to Ghost Island and works to free them while battling various ghosts and monsters.


The original storyboards of this game included other Namco IP including Dig Dug, Mappy, and Valkyrie and Sandra. The idea was changed at the last minute (to the point of modeling and animation) to the other Pac-Man game family members such as Ms. Pac-Man, Baby Pac-Man, Jr. Pac-Man, Pac-Man's dog Chomp Chomp and Professor Pac-Man. The only non-Pac-Man Namco character that made it into the story was Pooka (from Dig Dug), and holdovers from the original vision were Ms. Pac-Man and Professor Pac-Man.


Pac-Man World is a 3D platform game played with an automatic or "on rails" camera. Pac-Man can run, jump, swim, and use three new special abilities. The first, butt-bounce, is reminiscent of Mario's ground pound, and can press switches, open crates, and defeat enemies. The rev-roll, similar to Sonic's spin dash, can activate treadmills or propel Pac-Man up ramps. A third, unnamed ability allows Pac-Man to throw his collected pellets at enemies. Pac-Man can survive up to three hits from enemies and obstacles, with his health displayed on a radial meter. Dropping into a bottomless pit or taking a fourth hit will lose a life.

Every world has a theme, such as pirates, a carnival, and a factory. Level design and music will reflect the world's theme. Progression is linear: A world's first level will introduce new mechanics, then one or two more levels will require using it. Hidden in every level is a maze sub-game, played by the original arcade game's rules. However, Pac-Man's health meter is still active, so he can survive three hits from ghosts. The final level of every world is a unique boss battle, often with gameplay or controls different from the base game. Defeating the boss will unlock access to the next world.

Levels contain objects like doors, ramps, trampolines, and breakable crates, designed to form puzzles that interact with Pac-Man's new abilities. Collectibles include pellets, fruit, extra lives, health wedges, and bonus letters. Power Pellets temporarily turn all ghosts vulnerable, allowing Pac-Man to defeat them. Newly introduced is a metallic pellet, temporarily granting Pac-Man normal movement underwater and immunity to heat damage. Collecting every bonus letter to spell "PACMAN" will reward the player with a bonus stage. Keys are hidden in some levels, which will free one of Pac-Man's captive friends in following level. Rescuing every character is not mandatory, but Pac-Man's friends will make the final boss easier to defeat.

Port and sequels[edit]

Pac-Man World is part of a "duo" with Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness, somewhat similar to the later Pac-Man: Adventures in Time and Ms. Pac-Man: Quest for the Golden Maze.

A Game Boy Advance version came in 2004. Due to hardware limitations, many features were left out of the game, such as Maze Mode, the original Pac-Man and many levels cut out. This version was later included in a 2-in-1 cartridge with the GBA version of Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness.

A sequel, Pac-Man World 2, came on February 24, 2002. It is available on the PC, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox and Game Boy Advance.

Another sequel, Pac-Man World 3 was released in 2005. This game introduced new moves and powers to Pac-Man and gave him a full voice. It was not developed by the team behind the other games.


Pac-Man World has been given mainly positive reviews since its release. GameSpot rated this game 7.6/10, saying that "Pac-Man World is a fun little game that goes beyond mere regurgitation."[1] IGN rated the game 7.8/10, while saying "A fitting, albeit sometimes patchy, tribute to the man that started it all."[2]

Marc Nix from IGN, who reviewed the game on November 15, 1999, stated that the gameplay is "more the cousin of Super Mario World rather than Super Mario 64". His comment on the Presentation is "an 80's flair that proves just how creative designers were back then".[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Pac-Man World". GameSpot. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Pac-Man World 20th Anniversary". IGN. Retrieved 9 November 2017.

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