Pac-Land, Atari Lynx

Pac-Land on the Atari Lynx is a rather excellent conversion of Namco‘s classic 1984 arcade game of the same name. It features pretty much all the good things about the influential coin-op, including the cute, colourful graphics, smooth scrolling, and challenging gameplay.

Just like in the original the idea is to take Pac-Man to the end of each level, by running left to right, avoiding ghosts, cars and other hazards, while collecting power pills and fruit for bonus points. If Pac-Man jumps into a power pill the ghosts will become scared and can be caught for bonus points. The game features the same weird running mechanic of the arcade game, where you must tap twice in the same direction to get Pac-Man running, and tap in the opposite direction to slow him down; or tap twice to turn him around.

Occasionally Pac-Man will encounter springboards from which you must correctly time jumps to clear swimming pools and other hazards. To extended Pac-Man‘s jumps the idea is to mash the jump button while in mid air to delay his return to the ground. There are also woods sections, with logs blocking the way, and mountain sections with spinning logs that must be used for platforms.

When you reach the end of a level, you must then take Pac-Man back in the opposite direction, basically completing the same level again, but in reverse, which is a neat idea.

There’s a level select at the beginning of the game where you can start on any of the five available levels, but there are no continues when you lose your three lives. There’s also a timer that counts down (the yellow Pac-Men at the bottom of the screen), which hurries you along to the next ‘Break Time’ checkpoint, when it re-fills again.

Pac-Land on the Lynx has the same jolly music of the original, and most of its other features. Overall it’s a more than competent conversion and was created by just two people (Jason Stephenitch did the programming and art, and Joel Seider did the music and sound effects).

More: Pac-Land on Wikipedia

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