Ms. Pac-Man

Ms. Pac-ManThe 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 See the videothe 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, 1983)

Memories: Oh, God. If there’s a genre of video game that suffers most pathetically at the hands of Atari’s non-centering 5200 controllers, it’s the maze game. And Ms. Pac-Man is among the worst victims of the 5200’s joysticks: you could wind up smacking into a wall, unable to move before those three ghosts nailed you from behind. (Actually, that sounds pretty bad.)

3 quartersAudiovisually, this was a very good adaptation of the arcade game, created by General Computer, the same Atari subcontractor which had also helped to redeem the 2600 with its own winning adaptation of Ms. Pac-Man…but the 5200 version suffered from the joystick issues that plagued so many 5200 games, rendering this one almost unplayable at times.