The Game: You control a round creature consisting of a mouth and little else. When the game begins, you’re given about two seconds’ head start to venture into the maze before blobby monsters are released from their cages and begin pursuing you. As you move, Munch Man leaves a trail in his wake; you advance to the next level of the game by “painting” the entire maze with that trail. (Texas Instruments, 1982)
Memories: A nifty Pac-Man clone done with simple character graphics and a few game play twists designed to make it lawsuit-proof, Munch Man miraculously seemed to be spared being on the receiving end of Atari’s litigious wrath – surprising since Atari was suing Bally, Magnavox, and just about everyone else trying to put a Pac-Man-like game on a home console at the time.
Munch Man is a fun little game, and at the same time it’s put together very, very simply. Where it differs from its inspiration is its use of dots in the maze. Instead of eating the dots until the maze is empty, Munch Man must lay the dots in the maze, “painting” every passageway he goes through; only when there’s not a single spot left uncovered can you advance to the next maze. Other than your on-screen character pooping dots all over the place, the game is, essentially, Pac-Man.
Like, for example, the Odyssey2 game K.C. Munchkin, Munch Man was designed to capitalize on Pac-Man’s success, and you can’t capitalize on that without mass-producing something. And like K.C., Munch-Man isn’t at all hard to locate on the collector’s market.