Jr. Pac-Man

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Jr. Pac-Man
Jr pac flyer.png
Arcade Flyer
Developer(s)Bally Midway
Atari
Publisher(s)
Platform(s)Arcade, Atari 2600, Commodore 64, DOS
Release date(s)Arcade
  • NA October 1983
Atari 2600DOSCommodore 64
Genre(s)Retro/Maze
Mode(s)Up to 2 players, alternating turns
CabinetUpright
Arcade systemNamco Pac-Man
CPU1x ZiLOG Z80 @ 3.072 MHz
Sound1x Namco WSG (3-channel mono) @ 3.072 MHz
 
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Jr. Pac-Man
Jr pac flyer.png
Arcade Flyer
Developer(s)Bally Midway
Atari
Publisher(s)
Platform(s)Arcade, Atari 2600, Commodore 64, DOS
Release date(s)Arcade
  • NA October 1983
Atari 2600DOSCommodore 64
Genre(s)Retro/Maze
Mode(s)Up to 2 players, alternating turns
CabinetUpright
Arcade systemNamco Pac-Man
CPU1x ZiLOG Z80 @ 3.072 MHz
Sound1x Namco WSG (3-channel mono) @ 3.072 MHz

Jr. Pac-Man is an arcade game released in 1983 by Bally Midway. It is based on Pac-Man and its derivatives, but is not officially part of the Pac-Man series—along with Baby Pac-Man, this game was created without the authorization of Namco. This was one of the games that eventually led to the termination of the licensing agreement between Namco and Midway.[citation needed]

Gameplay[edit]

Title Screen

The gameplay of Jr. Pac-Man is similar to that of its predecessors: The player controls the titular Jr. Pac-Man (who wears an animated propeller beanie) and scores points by eating all of the pac-dots in the maze. Four ghosts roam the maze and attempt to capture him. The player can eat an energizer to turn the ghosts blue, making them vulnerable for a short time and allowing the player to eat them, sending their eyes back to their home base. When all the dots are cleared, a new maze is presented and gameplay resumes.

Jr. Pac-Man contains some of the most significant differences to the Pac-Man formula, both cosmetically and in terms of gameplay. The maze is now two times the width of the display, and a virtual camera pans left and right along the maze to follow Jr. Pac-Man, sometimes allowing the ghosts to be off-screen. A total of seven mazes appear throughout the game, most of which have six energizers instead of four, and none of which have tunnels that wrap around from one side of the screen to the other. As in prior games, bonus prizes (such as tricycles, kites and balloons) appear in each level, starting in the center of the maze and bouncing around it as in Ms. Pac-Man. As a prize encounters dots, it changes them into larger dots that are worth 50 points instead of 10, but also slow Jr. Pac-Man down more than usual. If a prize encounters an energizer, it self-destructs, taking the energizer with it.

This game also contains several purely cosmetic changes from Pac-Man: It features a lower-case anti-aliased font for scores and game text, and the orange ghost's name has changed from Clyde to Tim. The game's intermissions center around the developing relationship between Jr. Pac-Man and Yum-Yum (apparently the daughter of Blinky).

Like many games of its generation, Jr. Pac-Man has a kill screen: Reaching the 146th screen causes the game to display an invisible maze with no dots, effectively ending the game.

Home Ports[edit]

Because of the somewhat limited popularity of the game, initially the only released port was for the Atari 2600 console; this version features different mazes that scroll vertically rather than horizontally, but is otherwise a faithful adaptation. Ports for the Atari 5200 and the Atari 8-bit computers were finished in 1984, but were scrapped along with Super Pac-Man when the home computing and game console divisions of Atari, Inc. were sold to Jack Tramiel.[1][2] The game was later ported to some home computers such as the Commodore 64[3] and the PC.[4]

The discovery of an unreleased prototype for the Atari 7800 was the subject of an April Fools' Day joke on the AtariAge forums in 2009.[5] The joke was revealed as cover for a homebrew version of the game, which was released in ROM cartridge format. [6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]