Ignore all the Ms. Pac-Man legal issues – awkward! – and it’s hard to imagine Pac-Man Museum+ being much more comprehensive than it is. There are absentees, of course – long-time power pill poppers may lament the lack of, say, Pac-Man World from the PS1 – but across 14 titles, you’re effectively getting the career highlights (and lowlights) of Bandai Namco’s yellow blob.
That includes the iconic 1980 arcade original – of course! – as well as its Super Pac-Man and Pac & Pal permutations, which have mixed success fiddling with the rules of the established maze formula. 1984’s endless runner-esque Pac-Land is present and accounted for – and looking surprisingly pretty scaled up on a 4K screen, we must say – while there’s even a slot for 1992’s Tetris-inspired SNES puzzler, Pac-Attack.
Of interest to PlayStation players, Pac-Man Arrangement ships in two permutations: the 1996 arcade original and as a rearrangement from Namco Museum Battle Collection, which first launched on the PSP in 2005. The isometric Pac-Mania from 1987 is an obvious inclusion, but the borderline unplayable Pac-In-Time less so: it’s fiddly and heavily flawed, but noteworthy nonetheless. Other curios include Pac-Motos – a rudimentary battle game inspired by Namco’s 1985 arcade game Motos which first released as part of a Nintendo Wii compilation – and the Marble Madness-style Nintendo DS puzzle platformer Pac N Roll.
The absolutely superb Pac-Man Championship Edition rounds out the package, alongside the surprisingly sturdy smartphone game, Pac-Man 256 – presented here sans microtransactions and with multiplayer. You also get the brilliant 2010 arcade game Pac-Man Battle Royale, which is a hoot if you’re able to convince people to play with you.
As you may have observed from our overview, there are highs and lows here: the original Pac-Man is still outstanding even 40 years after it took arcades by storm, but input lag on the likes of Pac-Mania make it a less compelling proposition in 2022. The emulation is largely no frills, with a CRT shader and online leaderboards, although Bandai Namco has produced a compelling 3D wrapper, which sees you interacting with your arcade cabinets in a 3D environment that you can customise.
Overall, this is a handful of games and a legal settlement away from being comprehensive, but it undoubtedly gives you a flavour for Pac-Man’s storied career – and between the ups-and-downs, there’s plenty to chew on.