Is Pac-Man (Atari 2600) really that bad?


Keeping with the theme of my last two articles, it’s time to tackle another poorly rated game. The arcade Pac-Man is probably one of my favorite Coin-Op games. But, the 2600 home port is something to be desired. As I’ve found with both ET 2600, and Sonic ’06, bad games aren’t really as bad as many say they are. But, we’re only half way through the bad game list. Here is my “review worst games thingy”, with the game Pac-Man: on the Atari 2600!


The gameplay is very similar to the arcade game. But, if you’ve lived under a rock for at least 30 years, here is a recap: you eat pellets, travel around a maze and avoid ghosts. There are bigger pellets, that turn you super. This means you can eat ghosts.

But, porting an arcade game to an inferior system never ends well. In this game, Pac-Man eats wafers, the game only displays one ghost at one time so the ghosts flicker, and a poorly designed maze. But, we all expected modified graphics and level layouts. But the ghost flickering is not excusable.


But, I can’t really complain about the game as much as other games (say ET, or the next game that I will review next week). The reason is that there is another Pac-Man game on the Atari 2600. This game is Ms Pac-Man. If you really wanted a Pac-Man game on the 2600, just go for Ms Pac-Man.

However, this is a review of Pac-Man 2600, and not Ms Pac-Man. Is this game fun? The result is similar to Sonic ’06, and ET: the games are fun, but only when reviewing, Let’s Playing, or with a friend. You wouldn’t go back to play this game, as there are better games. But, it’s still fun, even if you are forced to play it.


Should you go and get an Atari 2600, and get Pac-Man? No; just play Pac-Man on your phone, or on your PC. But, Pac-Man 2600 isn’t terrible, it’s just not a finished. I can’t really say “This game is the worst thing I’ve played“, as it’s still fun. A game is supposed to be fun, not a graphic-fest. The misconception about games needing to always be better than what’s already been made is annoying; a game is supposed to be fun, and nothing more.

Well, speaking of the topic of games being fun, I’m hoping I don’t die of boredom from next weeks game. Yes, this “review worst games thingy” topic will end next week, with a game I honestly despise more than all of these games, while many say it’s “not bad”! Stay tuned, and also, make sure you stay retro!

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