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Game: Jr. Pac-Man
Developer: Bally Midway
Publisher: Bally Midway
Release Date: 1982
Class: Wide Release
Genre: Maze
Gameplay: Alternating
Simul. Players: 1
Max Players: 2
Monitor: Vertically oriented, 288 x224, 16 palette colors
Joystick: 4-way joystick
Layout: PCB
Cabinet Type(s): Standard upright;
Cabinet Pics:  
Side Art: 1, 2
Boards:  
Arcade CPU: 1x ZiLOG Z80 @ 3.072 MHz
Sound: 1x Namco WSG (3-channel mono) @ 3.072 MHz
Review Score:
Player Guide:  
Cheats:  
Read The Review:  

Jr. Pac-Man is an arcade game released in 1983 by Bally Midway. It is based on Pac-Man and its derivatives, but is not officially part of the Pac-Man series — along with Baby Pac-Man, this game was created without the authorization of Namco. This was one of the games that eventually led to the termination of the licensing agreement between Namco and Midway.

Gameplay

The gameplay of Jr. Pac-Man is largely identical to that of its predecessors, with a few differences. The maze is now three times the width of the display, and a virtual camera pans left and right along the maze to follow Jr. Pac-Man, sometimes resulting in the ghosts being off-screen. A total of seven mazes appear throughout the game, and unlike previous Pac-Man games, none of the mazes have tunnels that wrap from one side of the screen to the other.

As in prior games, bonus prizes appear in each level. (These prizes were called fruits in Pac-Man, but none of the prizes in this game are fruits.) Similar to Ms. Pac-Man, prizes appear in the middle of the maze and bounce around for a time, but as a prize encounters dots, it changes them into larger dots that slow Jr. Pac-Man down but are worth more points. If not eaten beforehand, a prize self-destructs with an energizer (power pellet in earlier games), taking the energizer with it.

There are also a few cosmetic differences: The main character is Jr. Pac-Man (who wears a propeller beanie); Clyde, the orange ghost, is now called Tim; and the game's graphics and sound have been updated, including a lower-case anti-aliased font for scores and game text. The game's intermissions center around the developing relationship between Jr. Pac-Man and Yum-Yum (apparently the daughter of Blinky).

Scoring

Item Points
Dot 100
Mutated Dot 50
Powerpill 50
Ghosts 200, 400, 800 and 1,600
Cycle 100
Kite 200
Drum 500
Balloon 700
Train 1,000
Cat 2,000
Beer 5,000

Dipswitch Settings

Difficulty can be set to normal or hard (default is normal).
The number of starting lives can be set from 1 to 5 (default is 3).
Extra life can be set to 10,000, 20,000 or 30,000 points (default is 10,000).

Playing Hints/Tips

* On the first couple of screens, don't worry abou the bonus items moving over dots, as long as get them before they destroy powerpills. The mutated dots are worth 5 times the points as normal ones, and you can still just about outrun the ghosts on them.

* The bonus items have a set pattern for the powerpills they head towards, depending on which ones are still available. Learn the patterns and pick them off before they destroy the powerpills.

* Later levels have a lot of dead ends for you to worry about. Use the powerpills to move the ghosts away from you, and while the power is active, clear a dead end area before the ghosts return.

* Try to group the ghosts together when you are near a powerpill, as you get 3,000 for getting all four ghosts.

* On the cat and beer levels concentrate on the bonus items, as they are worth far more points than anything else.

Home versions

Between the effects of the video game crash of 1983 and the unauthorized status of this game, the only sanctioned port of this game was released for the Atari 2600 in 1987 with a 1984 copyright date. It is generally considered a faithful port of the arcade game, especially given the console's limitations. A version for the Atari 5200 was nearly completed, but was never officially released. A ROM image for this game can be played with an emulator.

A similar game called Pac-Jr. was released as a minigame in the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version of Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures in 1994. This version is an official release by Namco and bears only a passing resemblance to Jr. Pac-Man, playing much more like Ms. Pac-Man instead.

 

 

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