PAC-Match Party in Review – You’re Invited!

PAC-Match Party was released to commemorate PAC-MAN’s 30th birthday. It’s difficult to believe that the little guy has been around that long – since before I was born! Quite rightly, PAC-MAN is a legend and so it’s only right that he should have a party for his 30th birthday. And that’s what this game is. A match three party.

It’s a combination of the classic style game and match three gameplay. So instead of controlling PAC-MAN using directional arrows/buttons, you’re propelling him around the board by swiping and tapping the screen to make matches in the centre section. But you’ve got to be quick to stay ahead of the ghosts.

Along the way you’ll collect power-ups which will help you stay ahead of the ghosts, and maybe even catch up with them! There are 30 levels in the game and naturally they get harder as you progress, so you’d be advised to keep hold of those power-ups until the last possible moment. When playing the game, you’ll be racking up a (hopefully awesome) score and also unlocking achievements. Sadly, both of these things appear to remain in the game – there’s no connectivity to OpenFeint or any other social channels. So you’ll only be attempting to beat your own high scores and unlock achievements for your own satisfaction.

The graphics in the game are good – they’re not particularly hi-tech or what you’d call stunning, but they remain faithful to the spirit of PAC-MAN – it’s retro! The music can get pretty annoying after a while, but there is an option in the game where you can select songs from your own iPod music library to play instead. Really, you wouldn’t be missing much to just play the game with the sound on your device switched off.

Overall, the game is good fun, particularly for those who – like me – have grown up with PAC-MAN and believe it’ll never get old. People who love casual gaming in particular will enjoy this. The only downside is the game is quite buggy. When you’re swiping and touching the screen to make matches, it’s not particularly responsive and sometimes you have to keep trying. This obviously isn’t ideal in a game which needs you to make your moves quickly in order to stay alive. You also can’t make moves too soon after making a match, you have to wait until the board ‘settles,’ meaning you’re wasting time, particularly if the ghosts are catching up on our birthday boy hero.

I also experienced problems when trying to use power-ups. It didn’t happen every time, but when trying to activate various power-ups, the game would freeze up. You couldn’t make any moves and nothing would happen. The only thing you could do was exit. When returning to the game the problem would often still be there. It seems to rectify itself after a little while, but this is problematic, especially in the later levels when you rely on the power-ups to get you by.

I’d still recommend the game to PAC-MAN fans, especially if they’re match three enthusiasts. It’s not overly expensive and hopefully Namco will iron out these bugs in later releases.

App Summary
Title: PAC-Match Party Developer: Namco Networks America
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.1 Min OS Req:
Price: $1.99 App Size: 38.8 MB
  • A different take on a classic game
  • Reasonably priced
  • Addictive fun
  • Buggy
  • No social connectivity
  • Little replay value


More Match ’em reviews right here at TMA:

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