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Article #5 (79 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: LYNX: Ms. Pac-Man
Posted-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys)
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu
Date: Tue Feb 26 21:18:58 1991

>From: (Robert Jung)

for the Atari Lynx
1 player, horizontal game

  Unless you've been living in a cave for the last 20 years, chances are good
you know of Pac-Man. The original yellow-balled maze muncher became _the_
symbol for video gaming, and spawned a flock of sequels and me-too titles.
The official sequel by Bally/Midway/Namco was MS. PAC-MAN, and now you
too can plug this game into your Atari Lynx.

  The game is simple: You control Ms. Pac-Man, a feminine yellow ball with
a mouth, through a maze. Your objective is to eat all the dots in the maze
and go to other mazes. Four ghosts chase you through the maze -- one touch
and you die. Run out of lives, and the game ends. Certain dots are
"energizers", which temporarily turn the ghosts blue and vulnerable for you
to eat them. At times, bonus foods hop through the maze, and eating them
gives even more points.

  The Lynx version features two sets of mazes. You can play with either the
original arcade four mazes, or with an alternate set of 21(!) wider mazes.
On the alternate mazes, a lightning bolt will occassionally hop through the
maze. Get the bolt, and you can push a button (A or B) for 15 seconds of
high speed. The bolt goes away if you die, finish the level, or use it.

  To be honest, MS. PAC-MAN is a simple game, and it's not surprising to see
it arrive on the Lynx intact. Scoring is the same, controls are the same,
and (as far as I can tell) the ghosts even behave the same. The alternate
set of 21 mazes helps keep this game interesting, especially to jaded maze
runners who mastered the original. I myself don't mind a _little_ Pac-mania
(though I think it went too far, in the end), and am happy for a maze game on
the Lynx.

  (I'm personally bummed that the two-player-simultaneous gameplay
rumored a few months ago is not present. Oh well)

  MS. PAC-MAN is set up as a horizontal game on the Lynx, with the maze
scrunched to keep the entire maze on the screen at once. As a result, the
graphics suffer a bit. The game graphics, from Ms. P to the ghosts to the
fruits, are very small. Details (such as the ghosts' eyes) are missing,
though the game is not affected any. The only place to see big ghosts and
Pac-people are in the intermission cartoons, which are kept intact from the

  Sounds on this game are decent, though not outstanding. Music bits (the
opening tune and intermission bridges) remain identical, cheery and light.
The game sounds are average, neither irritating nor exceptional.

  A decent adaptation overall, and a good game in its own right. I suspect
whether or not you'll buy this depends on how willing you are to have a
Pac-Maze-game on the Lynx. If you are interested, the Lynx version will
not do you wrong.

        GAMEPLAY:        9
        GRAPHICS:        7
        SOUND:           6
        OVERALL:         7.5


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