It can be said that Pac-man has already retired some time ago. One of the most characteristic symbols of video games, however, cannot find peace in his old age – Namco Bandai forced him to work again. When I put the plate into the console, I was sure that a catastrophe would happen …

Fortunately, my suspicions did not come true. Because although the new Pac-Man lacks a lot to today’s standards, fans of gray-school 3D platformers will be quite entertained.

I see talking drops! Is there a doctor in the room?

Let’s start with the fact that the game was created on the basis of a series for children with Pac-Man in the lead role. For people who have not watched the masterpieces (including me), entering the game world is quite difficult. More characters scroll through the screen, we see that they have some relationship with Pac-Man, but we can only guess what. Everything is related to the series and the terminology will be understood primarily by the fans. Apart from this small detail, the plot is as simple as the construction of a flail. The action of the game begins in the city of Pacopolis, which is attacked by ghosts (fans of the original versions of Pac-Man probably know them perfectly well). They are led by a certain Betrayus, and the only one who can oppose them is a local school student – Pac-Man. The icon of the video game industry is presented as a cool-headed guy who throws kicks, burps and is generally the life of the party. If I write that I would drink a brew with him, will it sound grotesque? The yellow ball has to travel through mysterious temples in search of artifacts and his crazy team will help him. I must admit that I ignored the script after the first levels, because the dialogues are written for 7-year-olds. On the other hand, can you expect something ambitious from a title with talking balls playing a major role?

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is a pain-standard 3D platformer, which has its pros and cons. Our base is the aforementioned school, where we can talk to characters known from the series (Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde on board), collect yellow balls (this allows you to increase the number of hearts responsible for life), play slot machines (about this in a moment) and move to one of the six worlds unlocked as the game develops. Each of them consists of several levels – those pushing the story forward and the bonus ones. Initially, all the fun comes down to collecting collectibles, jumping on platforms, using moving platforms and a simple fight with ghosts. Pac-Man can swallow them during a fight or scare them. In the latter case, just like in the 8-bit times, the opponents turn blue and try to escape from us. If this were to be the game, the whole game would be bored after 20 minutes. Fortunately, the developer took care to diversify the gameplay.

Swallow your balls, you’ll be great

On his way to the goal, Pac-Man finds special balls that give him different properties and change his form. Virtually every new world introduces completely new patents, so it’s hard to complain about boredom. Thanks to this, the game is unpredictable in its own way. Our cheerful drops can turn into a huge stone, which we steer like a pinball ball, crushing enemies and rolling along the designated paths. In the skin of a chameleon, a sticky tongue allows you to swing on some elements of the environment, and thanks to a special suit, we will become invisible to cameras. Pac-Man can also turn into a balloon. Letting out the air gradually, we levitate trying to reach the next platforms and use special windmills. And these are just a few examples from the shore – the ice Pac can freeze enemies and some platforms, throw fireballs in a fire, bounce off rubber from everything that can happen, and the metal one, thanks to the use of a magnet, will stick to the metal parts of the board, even walking upside down on them. Changing the form will help us not only to overcome obstacles, but also to fight. Some of the enemies are vulnerable only to fire, some must first be frozen. In later levels, it becomes necessary to juggle the forms so that the game does not fall into patterns.

Unfortunately, the level designs aren’t that crazy. Although getting to all the collectibles is a challenge, you can see at every step that the game was created with a younger audience in mind. The fights are simple and even interesting battles with bosses, in which you have to use the elements of the environment, are not difficult. I cannot forget to mention the quite stupid checkpoints, which in the event of death force us to collect all bonus items again. It is nice that each world is unique in its own way. We have temples straight from the adventures of Indiana Jones, volcanic areas, ice areas or even the metropolis mentioned at the beginning. The graphics are simple, neat and colorful. It does not delight, but it does not reject it either. It is a pity that the animation can crunch properly in a bigger brawl. A good word should be written about the funny animations of Pac-Man swallowing ghosts, wiping his mouths with a handkerchief after burping or grinning at the camera.

Insert a coin

The school, i.e. our base, initially plays practically no role and there is no point in visiting it. Once we collect a certain amount of fruit obtained after completing the next levels, we unlock access to four arcade machines. To be able to use them, you also need to have tokens, which we collect while exploring the next boards. This is a very nice reference to the golden age of arcade machines. Each of the mini-games consists of four levels and brings with it a different experience. We have a time-based tunnel shooting in the N2O style, we can also fly a helicopter, shooting at enemies and saving people in the style of the iconic Choplifter, or even ride a tank and fight waves of enemies in labyrinthine levels filled with power-ups. Here the difficulty level is a bit higher, so you can finally throw a few offensive words at the TV. However, these are pins for one time and you will not want to break records. For those who want to extend the fun with the title, the developer has prepared a multiplayer mode for four players. We can play the role of ghosts and catch Pac-Man controlled by the console. Of course, we are moving through the three-dimensional version of the labyrinth known from the original. However, the role reversal looks interesting only on paper, because the gameplay becomes boring very quickly.

In Pac-Man’s return, I saw with my imagination the budget production from the basket in Biedronka. But the world turned upside down. In the famous discount stores, you could even find The Witcher recently, and Ghostly Adventures turned out to be average, but pleasant, relaxing and casual 3D platformer. And this in this case can be treated with a clear conscience as a compliment.