sure seems to get himself into a lot of trouble for
such a simple symbol. What started out as a circle
with a piece missing, moving around a maze munching
dots, has now become a full fledged platform action
star thanks to some clever marketing and his rendering
into a 3D character complete with a personality overhaul.
His popularity is unrivaled and while it's good to
see him out working in new projects instead of appearing
in hackneyed "classics" collections, maybe
we're seeing too much of him, although it's bound
to coincide with the release of any new console or
is the second Pac-Man game released for the DS in
a few short months. It's not a sequel and it uses
less of the DS's ability than the previous release,
Pac-Pix. Pac n' Roll is not a unique concept. It's
a ball rolling game in the tradition of Super Monkey
Ball where the object is to guide a ball around a
maze-like environment filled with various obstacles,
hazards, ramps, hills, valleys, walls and collectibles
such as pellets and power-ups.
is assigned to the stylus. It's impossible to use
your finger or any other device since there are some
moves that require a pinpoint precision offered only
by the stylus. Pac-Man will follow a path that you
outline with the stylus. The physics is a little different
than Super Monkey Ball because Pac-Man isn't exactly
a normal ball. He's got a fair amount of grip that
allows him to travel up inclines which also keeps
him from rolling out of control down a hill. He won't
exactly stand still on an incline as he will definitely
be affected by gravity but not to the extent that
you might expect. It takes some time to get used to
moving him around. By dragging the stylus from one
end of the screen to the other you can give Pac a
boost that will get his ass rolling a lot faster.
This move can only be accessed by the stylus - fingers
are too fat.
staples such as elevators, teeter totters, booby traps
and chasms are tough enough to negotiate while you're
out on a pellet munch but since this is Pac-Man, the
ghosts aren't far behind. They will badger you and
threaten your life. You can try to avoid them or you
can find the power pellets and chow down on the annoying
little bastards. Unlike the original game, once you
eat a ghost it never returns. The power pellets aren't
always so easy to find. You will have to look high
and low as well as smash some creates to find the
are hidden all over each level. There are two different
helmets that you can wear to give you special powers.
One makes you heavy and strong which allows you to
sink to the bottom of a lake to collect other power-ups.
The other helmet makes you faster and lighter but
it makes you less strong and more prone to attacks.
clear a particular level you will have to collect
a certain amount of pellets. If you want to extend
the replay value you can try to find all of the pellets.
Along the way you will also find some gems which in
turn will open new challenges for you such as a Challenge
and Time Trials mode.
n' Roll has a great 3D look to. The camera is fixed
which helps to maintain a smooth and steady framerate.
The game is well colored but lacks significant detail.
There is only one song per level and the characters
talk in an annoying gibberish.
gameplay may be too consistent (read: repetitive)
for continuous play, but an hour here and there may
be just what the doctor ordered.