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Japanese promotional sales flyer
Director(s)Toru Iwatani
Programmer(s)Taro Shimizu
Artist(s)Akira Usukura
Composer(s)Junko Ozawa (Arcade)
Ben Daglish (Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Acorn Arcimedes, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MSX and ZX Spectrum)
Paul Webb (Genesis)
Paul S. Mudra (NES)
September 11, 1987
  • Arcade
    Amiga and Atari ST
    • EU: October 1988
    Commodore 64
    • EU: Late 1988
    Amstrad CPC, MSX and ZX Spectrum
    • EU: December 1988
    • JP: Early 1989
    • JP: Mid-June 1989
    • NA: Late 1990
    Acorn Archimedes
    Genesis and Master System
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
Arcade systemNamco System 1

Pac-Mania[a] is a cavalier perspective maze game that was developed and released by Namco for arcades in 1987. In the game, the player controls Pac-Man as he must eat all of the dots while avoiding the colored ghosts that chase him in the maze. Eating large flashing "Power Pellets" will allow Pac-Man to eat the ghosts for bonus points, which lasts for a short period of time. A new feature to this game allows Pac-Man to jump over the ghosts to evade capture. It is the ninth title in the Pac-Man video game series and was the last one developed for arcades up until the release of Pac-Man Arrangement in 1996. Development was directed by Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani. It was licensed to Atari Games for release in North America.

Pac-Mania gained a highly-positive critical reception for its uniqueness and gameplay. It was nominated for "Best Coin-Op Conversion of the Year" at the Golden Joystick Awards in 1987, although it lost to Taito's Operation Wolf. Pac-Mania was ported to several home consoles and computers, including the Atari ST, MSX2, Sega Genesis and Nintendo Entertainment System, the last of which being published by Tengen. Several Pac-Man and Namco video game collections also included the game. Ports for the Wii Virtual Console, iOS and mobile phones were also produced.


Arcade version screenshot of the Pac-Man's Park maze design.

Pac-Mania is a maze game viewed from an oblique[4] perspective and with a gameplay similar to the franchise's original installment.[5] The player controls Pac-Man, a yellow circular creature that must eat all of the pellets in each stage while avoiding five colored ghosts - Blinky (red), Pinky (pink), Inky (cyan), Clyde (orange) and Sue (purple). Eating large Power Pellets will cause the ghosts to turn blue and flee, allowing Pac-Man to eat them for bonus points and send them to the house in the middle of the stage. Clearing the stage of dots and pellets will allow Pac-Man to move to the next. Mazes scroll both horizontally and vertically, and the left and right edges of some layouts wrap around to each other. Touching a non-vulnerable ghost costs the player one life.

New to this game is the ability to jump over the ghosts, allowing Pac-Man to evade capture. Later rounds of the game introduce two new ghosts, Funky (green) and Spunky (grey), who also have the ability to jump. While Pac-Man can still barely jump over Funky, it is impossible to jump over Spunky.[5] Eating a certain number of pellets will cause a bonus item to appear in the middle of the stage, which can be eaten for points. Some of these bonus items are called Special Items, which are items from later levels, or are Red and Green Power Pellets. Red Power Pellets double the point values of blue ghosts (this bonus is lost if Pac-Man loses a life), and Green Power Pellets temporarily increase Pac-Man's speed. If the player takes too long to clear a stage, Pac-Man's jumping power begins to decrease steadily until it is entirely lost.

Four different mazes are available: Block Town, Pac-Man's Park, Sandbox Land, and Jungly Steps. Upon completing a set number of rounds in each maze, the player progresses to the next; after playing through all four, the cycle restarts. At the beginning of the game, the player can choose to start in any of the first three mazes and will earn a score bonus for choosing either Pac-Man's Park or Sandbox Land and completing the first round in it.

The game ends when the player has either lost all lives or (depending on the machine setting) cycled through all four mazes a set number of times.


Pac-Mania arrived on all of the major 8- and 16-bit systems in Europe in 1988, which were Amiga and Atari ST in October, Commodore 64 later that year, and Amstrad CPC, MSX and ZX Spectrum in December. The conversions were designed and ported by Teque Software, then composed of the duo Peter Harrap and Shaun Hollingworth, and the games were published by Grandslam Entertainment.[6][7] The same company developed an Acorn Archimedes port,[8] which was published by Domark in 1991. Sharp Corporation developed and released the game for its X68000 in early 1989.[9] Namco also released an MSX2 port of the game in mid-June that year.[10]

Pac-Mania was later ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System in late 1990 and the Master System[citation needed] and Sega Genesis in 1991 by Tengen. All three were released in North America, and the latter two in Europe as well, with the Master System port published by TecMagik.[11][12] The Genesis port was outsourced to Sculptured Software.


In Japan, Game Machine listed Pac-Mania on their December 15, 1987 issue as being the fifth most-successful table arcade unit of the month.[27] In North America, Atari sold 1,412 arcade cabinets in 1987, earning about $2.82 million ($7.6 million adjusted for inflation) in cabinet sales.[1]

Entertainment Weekly gave the Genesis version a B− in 1991.[23]

Polish magazine Top Secret gave the NES version 5 out of 5 checks, commending the music, graphics, the comical cut scenes, and, of course, the ability to jump.[28]

The game was runner-up in the category of Best Coin-Op Conversion of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards, behind Operation Wolf.[29]


The arcade version of Pac-Mania appeared in Namco Museum Volume 5, the 2001 Namco Museum release, Namco Museum: 50th Anniversary and Namco Museum Virtual Arcade. In 2001, it was one of the games included in Pac-Man Collection for the Game Boy Advance. Later, in 2002, the arcade version was re-released and included as an unlockable bonus in Pac-Man World 2. In 2007, Pac-Mania was also released in Namco Museum Remix with Pac & Pal, Pac 'n Roll, Super Pac-Man and other non-Pac-Man games and was re-released in 2010 as part of the follow-up compilation Namco Museum Megamix, along with 17 other Namco arcade games and six remix games, five of which appeared in Namco Museum Remix.

In 2010, the design of Pac-Man and the ghosts from Pac-Mania appear in Pac-Man Championship Edition DX and the game itself is released as an app in the App Store for iOS devices. Pac-Mania was also re-released as part of the Pac-Man's Arcade Party arcade machine in 2010 for Pac-Man's 30th anniversary. In February 2014 it was included in the Pac-Man Museum on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC via Steam. In 2018, it was included in the Pac-Man's Pixel Bash arcade cabinet, along with other Pac-Man, and different Namco games. The game is included in the 2022 compilation title Pac-Man Museum+, released for PC via Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. On December 8, 2022, Pac-Mania was also included as part of the Arcade Archives by Hamster Corporation.

The music from Pac-Man's Park was later used in Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures as the "power up" theme for "Pac" (the show's version of Pac-Man). The same theme, along with Block Town's music, was remixed and used in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and later Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.


  1. ^ Japanese: パックマニア, Hepburn: Pakku-Mania


  1. ^ a b "Production Numbers" (PDF). Atari Games. August 31, 1999. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 12, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Arcades". Commodore User. No. 52 (January 1988). United Kingdom: EMAP. December 1987. Archived from the original on July 29, 2021. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  3. ^ Mitchell, Briar Lee (2012). Game Design Essentials. Wiley. p. 82. ISBN 978-1-118-23933-9. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Bobinator (August 16, 2019). "Pac-Mania". Hardcore Gaming 101. Archived from the original on June 24, 2022. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  5. ^ Reed, Michael (October 13, 2011). "From the Archives: Krisalis". Retro Gamer. No. 95. p. 76.
  6. ^ "Action Pac-ed". The Games Machine. No. 13. December 1988. p. 65. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  7. ^ "Pac-Man". Retro Gamer. No. 179. March 2018.
  8. ^ Kawano, Toshi. "Challenge!X68000". micomBASIC (in Japanese). No. 4. p. 290. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  9. ^ "ますます充実『パックマニア』" [More and more fulfilling – Pac-Mania]. Namco Community Magazine NG (in Japanese). No. 29. June 1989. p. 33. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  10. ^ "Next Wave: Pacmania". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 17. December 1990. p. 34. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  11. ^ Scullion, Chris (2021). The Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Encyclopedia: Every Game Released for Sega's 16-bit Console. White Owl. p. 138. ISBN 978-1-52674-659-7. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Archive - Magazine viewer". ACE. World of Spectrum. Archived from the original on February 19, 2022. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  13. ^ Amiga Computing review, February 1989, Archived 2012-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Archived from the original on February 19, 2022. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  15. ^ a b "Archive - Magazine viewer". Computer and Video Games. World of Spectrum. Archived from the original on February 19, 2022. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  16. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Archived from the original on February 19, 2022. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  17. ^ a b c d "Archive - Magazine viewer". The Games Machine. World of Spectrum. Archived from the original on February 19, 2022. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  18. ^ "Pacmania". Archived from the original on October 22, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  19. ^ Zero magazine issue 20, June 1991, Archived 2012-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Zzap!64 magazine, Issue 45, January 1989, Archived 2012-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Software A-Z: Master System". Console XS. No. 1 (June/July 1992). United Kingdom: Paragon Publishing. April 23, 1992. pp. 137–47.
  22. ^ a b Strauss, Bob (November 1, 1991). "Pac-Mania". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  23. ^ MegaTech rating, MegaTech, EMAP, issue 6, page 77, June 1992
  24. ^ ST/Amiga Format, December 1988 Archived 2012-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Penn, Gary (October 1988). "Review: Pacmania". The One. No. 1. pp. 91–93. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  26. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 322. Amusement Press, Inc. December 15, 1987. p. 25.
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Archived from the original on August 3, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2013.

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