The Game: As the bride of that most famous of single-celled omniphage life forms, your job is pretty simple – eat all the dots, gulp the large blinking dots in each corner of the screen and eat the monsters while they’re blue, and avoid the monsters the rest of the time. Occasionally various fruits and other foods will bounce through the maze, and you can gobble those for extra points. (Atarisoft, 1983)
Memories: Introduced at virtually the same time as Atarisoft‘s TI edition of Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man looks and sounds slick – and has the same odd issue with slightly sluggish controls that seem to lag a little bit behind what’s happening on the screen.
Audiovisually, Ms. Pac-Man is a fine representation of the arcade game; the sound effects aren’t right on the money, but in 1983, to get this close was a pretty good achievement. Graphically, the TI does a very good job of matching the color and maze changes of the coin-op.
As it became more apparent that the video game industry was headed for rough waters, it says a lot that Atari was still willing to roll the dice on an audience of the size of the TI 99/4a user base for these arcade ports – if there was money to be made, they wanted to be the ones making it.