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Pac-Pix Review

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Developer: Namco Publisher: Namco
Release Date: April 26, 2005 Also On: None

The Nintendo DS has already shown me what it can do with its innovative touch-screen design, but nothing has really been remarkably new. That’s all changed with Namco’s new Pac-Pix, which has a very basic design that allows for very complex and interesting gameplay.

Namco has taken the simplicity of Pac-Man and changed the way it’s played. In Pac-Pix, you simply draw a Pac-Man to the best of your ability and lead him around a playing field, eating ghosts and fruits along the way. The gameplay is the same as any old-school Pac-Man game, only you control Pac-Man with a stylus and drawn lines rather than a joystick. To add to the complexity, Namco gives you the ability to draw, aim, and shoot little arrows that hit switches and freeze enemies. Late in the game, you earn the ability to draw bombs that explode and freeze enemies, hit switches, break shields, and more.

Pac-Pix doesn’t seem like a full-fledged game when you first look at it. It actually started as a tech demo for the Nintendo DS and grew into the actual game that it is now. It’s missing a real story, but that doesn’t make it any less of a game. There are 12 difficult levels, and each has five stages. Every other level has a boss fight, and each battle forces you to utilize your Pac-Man, arrow, and bomb-drawing skills to the best possible ability to defeat the enemy. Pac-Pix is by all means a difficult game, and finishing it means that you truly have skill at drawing and controlling your Pac Man.

The game looks very simplistic, and it fits well; the cutesy design is almost humorous. Trust me, the first time I drew a Pac-Man that appeared to have a massive tumor as he chomped around, I had to chuckle. The music is as addictive as ever, and that familiar chomp-chomp sound effect will follow you to the death, but it’s cute, it’s nostalgic, and it’s Pac-Man.

Overall, Pac-Pix isn’t the longest or best game on the Nintendo DS, but it serves as a great place to appreciate what the DS can do. With Pac-Pix and other games like WarioWare, Kirby: Canvas Curse, and Yoshi Touch and Go, it’s obvious that the Nintendo DS is an innovative and fun way to play video games. I just hope that developers start putting more of a story behind their (extremely fun) gimmicks.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 10
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 8.5
Written by Cliff Review Guide