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PacMan2 is a handheld LCD game released in 1981 by Entex. It was released in Japan as HungryPac. There was also a cartridge version released for the Select-A-Game system.

Gameplay

The single-player mode is effectively the same as the original Pac-Man, with less ghosts and a different maze. The two-player mode pits Pac-Man (player 1) against a Ghost (player 2), somewhat like Pac-Man Vs., but only on one screen.

Legality/Licensing

In 1980, Entex released a handheld version of Space Invaders, titled "Electronic Space Invader". However, the device was released without proper license from Bally Midway, who owned the game's distribution rights at the time. Midway quickly filed a lawsuit against Entex over the product; but surprisingly, the judge sided in favor of Entex. The court ruled that Entex's work was derivative enough to where it could remain on store shelves, with no licensing in place.

Due to the court outcome, Entex began work on other knock-offs of Midway's properties; this led to the release of PacMan2 and Galaxian2. Entex was taken to court once more over their release; but this time, the outcome was different. Coleco had just acquired the rights from Midway to produce Pac-Man and Galaxian handhelds, in a similar form to Entex's products. Due to Coleco's works being much closer to Entex's, it was concluded that, in this scenario, the work was not derivative enough to where the products could co-exist together.

The court ruled that PacMan2 (and Galaxian2) would be given a Bally Midway license for a brief period of time. But by January of 1982, following the launch of the Coleco Tabletop version, Entex's releases would be pulled from shelves. Additionally, later prints of the game would have "Licensed by Midway" stickers in their instruction manuals.[1] As such, PacMan2 was technically a licensed Pac-Man game - albeit for a very short time period.

Trivia

  • Due to the lawsuit, the Select-A-Game cartridge received very limited distribution, and is extremely rare today. The regular console, however, is still rather common.
  • A slightly modified version of the game titled HungryPac II was developed by Hanzawa and released by several manufacturers (but not Entex), which featured a different maze and sound effects. This version spawned a sequel titled HungryPac III (AKA Pack'n Maze).[2]
    • It is unlikely that any of these versions were licensed by Midway/Namco. However, Hanzawa worked on several of Entex's handhelds, giving a very loose "official" connection to Entex.[2]

References

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