- "BEWARE OF THE GLITCH!"
Pac-Man 256 is a mobile free-to-play game for iOS, Android devices. It was developed by Hipster Whale and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment in 2015, in celebration of Pac-Man's 35th anniversary. It is based on the Map 256 Glitch from the original arcade game.
The player needs to advance northbound from the slowly advancing glitch, traversing a never-ending maze. At the same time, Pac-Man has to collect Pac-Dots and avoid the Ghosts. Hitting a ghost or touching the Glitch will end the game.
The player can choose three power-ups to use in each game, that will appear randomly on the map, available to be collected and used. Eating 256 dots in a row (256 Pac-Dot Chain) will cause a huge explosion that wipes the map of ghosts.
In game, the player can collect credits, which are used to upgrade power ups and buy new themes (maps to play on). Credits can also be earned by watching advertisements (in mobile). Achievements can also give credits when completed, such as "collect 5 Tornado power ups".
Pac-Man 256 was ported to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2016, costing $4.99. Gameplay has some minor differences. There is a multiplayer mode, and gifts are randomly given. To get new power-ups you have to eat Pac-Dots every run. In multiplayer, 2-4 players share the same map, power ups, etc. Players can choose different skins to distinguish one another. When one player dies in multiplayer, a respawn cube will appear, similar to power ups, ready for the alive companions to collect; once collected, one dead player will respawn.
Power-ups are designed to give the player an advantage against fighting/escaping ghosts, collecting more pellets, or simply getting more points. One power up is unlocked every 24 hours, and 3 can be used on one game. Along with the power up loadout selected, players can also pick up Power Pellets, which let Pac-Man eat the ghosts.
Each power up has a more powerful version and a weaker version, weaker versions unlocked earlier and vice versa. It is advised to use the more powerful versions once unlocked. Power ups also can be upgraded, either increasing the points per kill or the power up duration (in seconds).
The following table is a list of power-ups in unlocking order.
|Laser||Pac-Man fires a laser straight that will defeat ghosts. The laser will stop if it hits a wall.||6||10|
|Freeze||Slows down the ghosts.||6||N/A|
|Bomb||Causes an explosion if Pac-Man hits a ghost (ending the effect early) or the timer runs out. In both cases, Pac-Man won't die.||6||10|
|Giant||Enlarges Pac-Man. Effectively a Power Pellet, but ghost behavior won't be changed.||6||10|
|Tornado||Summons a tornado that will chase ghosts.||6||10|
|Missing_picture||Stealth||Pac-Man cannot be seen or harmed by the ghosts.||6||N/A|
|Missing_picture||Fire||Pac-Man will leave a trail of fire that defeats ghosts that touch it. You can also run into ghosts||6||10|
|Missing_picture||Trap||Single-use spikes will appear around the map, taking out ghosts that touch them. They have no effect on Pac-Man.||6||10|
|Missing_picture||Magnet||Creates a collecting range around Pac-Man that will collect coins, power-ups and Pac-Dots.||6||N/A|
|Missing_picture||Pac-Men||Summons smaller Pac-Men that can attack up to three ghosts.||6||10|
|Missing_picture||Shatter||Slows down ghosts and summons icicles that Pac-Man can "eat" for big score.
Note: The "Points per Ghost" value for this entry applies for the icicles instead, since ghosts are not made defeatable by this power-up.
|Missing_picture||Pyro||The fire trail Pac-Man leaves will spread into the adjacent halls, but will not fork or turn any further.||6||10|
|Missing_picture||Twinado||Summons two ghost-chasing tornadoes.||6||10|
|Missing_picture||Optics||The laser Pac-Man fires will turn at the first wall it hits head-on. It will turn right if it can; if not, it will try to turn left.||6||10|
|Missing_picture||Boom||It is similar to Bomb, but instead has a mini-explosion when Pac-Man hits a ghost. When the effect ends, it acts just like Bomb.||6||10|
|Missing_picture||Regen||Collects Pac-Dots and fruit in range. When it wears off, whatever it collected will reappear.||6||N/A|
|Missing_picture||Radar||A limited-radius beam shoots straight out from Pac-Man and circles around him, defeating any ghosts it hits.||4||10|
|Missing_picture||Cherries||Ghosts that get near Pac-Man will turn into cherries.||6||N/A|
|Missing_picture||Sonar||Makes Pac-Man invisible and immune to ghosts. He will trigger sonar pulses that repel ghosts.||6||N/A|
|Missing_picture||Electric||Zaps and defeats ghosts near Pac-Man.||6||10|
|Beam||Summons a beam that is fixed to Pac-Man's east-west location. Available for a limited time in mobile and free in console/PC versions.|
When a power up is collected, all other power up items are replaced with larger square Pac-Dots that slightly prolong the effect of the power up when eaten. These dots revert back to the power ups when the current effect fully wears out.
Unlike regular Pac-Man, more than one ghost of the same color can appear. Each ghost has their own AI; most race after the player to kill them.
- Blinky - Will continuously chase the player with just a slightly slower speed. Will act like Inky if it doesn't detect the player.
- Pinky - If a player is in the same row or column as Pinky, she will move towards the direction of the player (without turning if the player changes direction) until she hits the wall. Pinky is faster than the player, so outrunning her in a long line is hard. It's advised to take corners until out of her limited range, or turn at an intersection since she will not follow the player around an intersection.
- Spunky - Wakes up when the player approaches too close. Once it wakes up it will act like Blinky. Once you get far enough away, it will fall asleep again.
- Clyde - Continuously moves south, only moving left or right (based on the players position) when it hits a wall. It will go south as soon as possible after it hits a wall, even if it can still see the player
- Inky - Circles around a certain portion of the map, ignoring and avoiding the player.
- Sue - Moves very slowly in a horizontal line in an attempt to block the player from advancing upwards. Typically appears in groups of three. Sue is the slowest ghost in the game.
- Funky - Moves horizontally in one row only, ignoring the player. Typically appears in lines of four.
- Glitchy - Acts like Blinky but also changes colors and teleports to a nearby location in order to ambush the player or to run away from the player when the player gets a power pellet
There are 10 achievements, one of which is only available on the console and PC versions.
|Dot Muncher||Eat 2048 Pac-Dots in singleplayer||Console, PC, Mobile|
|Ghost Hunter||Eat 64 Ghosts while using a Power Pellet in singleplayer||Console, PC, Mobile|
|Staying Healthy||Eat 64 Fruit pickups in singleplayer||Console, PC, Mobile|
|Mission Complete||Complete 16 missions
(Ex: Eat 5 apples, Do a 128 Pac-Dot chain, Etc.)
|Console, PC, Mobile|
|Multiplied Mayhem||Earn a x16 Power Pellet multiplier in singleplayer
(Meaning eat 16 ghosts in a row with a Power Pellet without it running out)
|Console, PC, Mobile|
|Maximum Power||Fully Upgrade a power-up||Console, PC, Mobile|
|All Powered Up||Unlock every powerup||Console, PC, Mobile|
|Game Over||Fully upgrade every powerup||Console, PC, Mobile|
|Super 256||Score a 256 Pac-Dot chain in singleplayer
(Meaning eating 256 Pac-Dots without stopping)
|Console, PC, Mobile|
|Wakka Wakka||Play a multiplayer game
(Does not have to be online)
In-App Purchases (Mobile)
The following in-app purchases are available to the player:
- Coin Doubler: $4.99 (Comes with a bonus 2048 coins)
- Themes: $0.99 (Classic 80's, The Grid, Robotz, CEDX, The Office, Go Karts, Garden, Pac-Mania, The Arcade, Moon Lander)
As of version 1.1, Pac-Man 256 introduces themes, which changes the appearance of the entire maze, including ghosts, pellets, power-ups, fruits, and Pac-Man himself. All themes either cost $0.99 or 2048 coins on mobile; they are included free in the PC & Console versions with one extra one not included in the mobile version. The following themes are currently available:
- Pac-Man 256 (default)
- Classic 80's
- The Grid
- Crossy Road
- CEDX (Championship Edition DX)
- The Office
- Go Karts
- Digital World (Only Console/PC Version)
- The Arcade
- Moon Lander
- Shuffle (Will change every run)
- The game was nominated for Best Handheld Game in The Game Awards 2015.
- An unrelated modification of the original Pac-Man arcade game titled Pac-Man Level 256 appears on the Pac-Man Connect and Play plug and play system. This game is identical to Pac-Man, however it starts the player at Level 255 with the maximum amount of lives possible. This is intended to make it easier for players to experience the glitched level 256.
- Formerly on the mobile version, Power-Ups could be unlocked by eating Pac-Dots, This is still the same in the Console/PC version
- At Bandai Namco's own request, the concept for Pac-Man 256 was entirely formed by Matt Hall and Andy Sum (Founders of Hipster Whale). Namco asked the two developers to create a game about Pac-Man (seeing their prior success with Crossy Road), to which they came up with this game.
- "It wasn't long after the release of Crossy Road that [Japanese publishing giant] Bandai Namco called us up and asked us if we'd be interesting in having a go at Pac-Man", Hall says.
- While only a small amount of players are likely to purchase either of the permanent upgrades, Hall says the ability to unlock the game was designed for the type of old-school gamer who remembers Pac-Man from back in the day, "people who have played games their entire lives and have been a bit hostile to the change [toward micro-transactions]".
- PAC-MAN 256 - Beware of the Glitch! (Announcement Trailer)
- PAC-MAN 256 - Announce Trailer l PS4, XB1, PC
- PAC-MAN 256 -Launch Trailer (Google Play, Amazon & App Store)
- PAC MAN 256 - Launch Trailer
- Tim, Biggs, "With $10 million under their belt, creators of popular Crossy Road game take on Pac-Man" - smh.com.au (August 25, 2015)
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