Pac-Man for Facebook Provides Virtual Quarter-Swallowing Experience for Retro Arcade Game Fans

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By Pete Davison Comment

Pac-Man is the latest in Japanese video game developer/publisher Namco Bandai‘s range of games for Facebook, following up titles such as New Rally-X S and Dig-Dug S. The game launched to the public on June 5.

According to our traffic tracking service AppData, Pac-Man currently has 196,016 monthly active users and 91,942 daily active users.

Hailing from the 1980s, Pac-Man is one of the all-time classic arcade games. Casting players in the role of the titular yellow blob with an insatiable appetite, it’s the player’s job to guide Pac-Man through a maze full of edible dots while avoiding the unwanted attention of four ghosts. Pac-Man can turn the tables on the ghosts by gobbling a Power Pill, which temporarily turns the ghosts blue and sends them running away from Pac-Man, who can eat the ghosts for large score bonuses while they are in this state. Eating all the dots within a maze moves players to the next “level” where the same maze is presented with increases to speed and difficulty. A player’s progress is represented in-game by a special object that moves around the maze, which Pac-Man can eat for bonus points. As the player’s level increases, the object changes shape, say from fruit to key, and the bonus points increase. If the player is caught by a ghost, the bonus resets.

The Facebook interpretation of the game remains largely unchanged from its arcade forefather. The social features of the game come in the form of two leaderboards: one for the player’s friends who are playing Pac-Man, and the other for worldwide high scores. Entries on the leaderboard link to players’ Facebook profiles, but other than this, there is no direct interaction between players.

The game is monetized in one way only — Facebook Credits for Continues. This differs from other arcade games on Facebook where virtual currency can be spent on power-ups or gameplay boosts. Pac-Man instead relies on the same method old arcades used to keep patrons pumping quarters into machines in order to prolong gameplay. Pac-Man for Facebook allows players to start the game for free, but should they die, the game asks for 10 Facebook Credits to continue where they left off. This means those willing to spend money on their play sessions will be able to rack up enormous scores simply by paying repeatedly for Continues.

As the game has only just opened to the public, Namco Bandai is running an opening sale, with Continue credits available for 3 Facebook Credits instead of the usual 10. Liking Pac-Man on Facebook also provides players with a free Continue credit for use whenever they like.

Pac-Man is what it is, so it’s unlikely that Namco Bandai will be adding much more to the game now it’s up and running on Facebook. The game is experiencing some technical difficulties at the moment, however, so we expect updates to take the form of behind-the-scenes bug fixes to solve network and data transfer issues. New content in the form of virtual items will likely find its way into Pac-Man S, a more socially-themed interpretation of Pac-Man from Namco Bandai which we’ll be taking a look at here on Inside Social Games soon.

You can follow Pac-Man’s progress using AppData, our traffic tracking application for social games and developers.