Pac-Man, the eating arcade game turns 40

A Pac-Man screen shot from an app store

Pac-Man, a maze chase video game will turn forty this year, 2020.

According to Pac-Man, via @officialpacman, the arcade game will be 40 on the 22nd of May.

The game which is considered as one of the best arcade games was developed and released by Namco in 1980.

The player controls Pac-Man, who must eat all the dots called pellets inside an enclosed maze while avoiding four colored ghosts named Blinky (red), Pinky (pink), Inky (cyan), and Clyde (orange).


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In-game screenshot. The four ghosts are at box in the center of the screen; Pac-Man is situated underneath them. To the bottom is the player’s life count and the level icon (represented by a cherry), to the top is the player’s score.

These ghost chases the player, and any contact with the player will mean losing a life, while eating all the pellets advances the player to the next stage.

The game ends when all lives are lost.

Even though the game was released in July in Japan and internationally in December of 1980, the first focus test was done on May 22 states an anniversary history timeline on its website.

While inviting fans to “join the Pac” the company also states that the game has a “brand recognition rate of 90% around the world, Pac-Man’s image is one of the most recognised on the planet and is as strong as ever as he enters his 40th year of entertaining fans of all ages”.

Pac-Man marks 40 years

Pac-Man debuted in Tokyo 40 years ago, the creator of the game Toru Iwatani, in an interview with CNN said “When I started drafting up this project in the late 1970s, the arcades were filled with violent games all about killing aliens.”

Iwatani, who was working for Japanese games firm Namco at the time explained that “They were gloomy places where only boys went to hang out. What I wanted to do was make arcades into livelier places that women and couples might enjoy visiting, so I thought it best to design a game with women in mind.”

The game went on to top several Guinness World Records categories.

To mark the anniversary, they asked gamers to share their favourite “Pac-Man memory” via a tweet “Hey pals, reply here with your favorite PAC-MAN memory! My 40th birthday will be here before we know it, so let’s get the party started! #PacMan40th”

Jason Leavey, @JasonTheGamer, said his favourite memory includes playing the arcade with his dad.

Greg Sakundiak, @saskvidkid described his 13 – year journey to joining the ‘best pac-man players in the world.”

He tweeted “So after 13 years recently & countless quarter’s when I was a kid at the Fun Factory, I finally join the best Pacman players in the World. I did it on the 40th anniversary of the making of the game. Just over 4 hours of straight play. Not sure if the exact time yet.”

Did you play Pac-Man? What is your most memorable memory?

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