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. (Atari, 1984; released circa 1987)
Memories: I know I keep repeating this theme in the Phosphor Dot Fossils coverage of the Atari 7800, but the Tramiels did their new company – and gamers everywhere – a grievous disservice by putting the 7800 on ice until the NES was on top of the world. Need more proof? Here’s our latest exhibit – a damn-near arcade-perfect translation of Ms. Pac-Man. You think I’m joking? It’s hard to show with a bunch of screen shots, but this game is Namco Museum good, with the music, graphics and even the intermissions brought home in one excellent, perfectly balanced package. I know everyone had it up to here with Pac-Man by 1984 (or, in the case of the 7800’s delayed release date, 1987), but as good as this game is, I would have love to have seen Pac-Man on the 7800.
A fine game on a fine system. Get used to hearing me say it – the 7800 was dealt an undeservedly bad hand by the incoming Tramiel management at Atari.