Welcome to this week’s PUNCHLIST, where we round up the biggest news in nerd culture. We highlight the tastiest morsel in some detail and then close you out with a link round-up.
Pac-Man 99 Launch Trailer
A Battle Royale Twist on a Classic
99 8-bit power pellet munching yellow discs enter, but only one will win in the newest battle royale experience making waves on the video game scene.
The basic gameplay remains largely the same as the original Pac-Man arcades: You pilot Pac-Mac around a maze-like screen scarfing pellets and avoiding ghosts or snagging power pellets and eating the pursuing poltergeists as you run up a score. But this time you’re competing against 98 other players, and new mechanics allow you to sabotage their experience…but that’s a knife that cuts both ways!
Players can choose from one of four “Power Ups,” or play modes either out of preferability or evolving strategy. Standard is the default, but Stronger, Train, and Speed are also available; each offering their own advantage, but also coming with drawbacks or risks. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses is essential to victory!
Pac-Man 99 also allows players a small handful of options to target specific opponents. Knockout targets the player deemed most likely to lose next, Counter selects as your target someone who is currently targeting you, Hunter throws all your tricks at the player deemed the greatest threat (either by badges or score or number of knockouts…I couldn’t nail down precisely which), and Random is on the tin.
Gobbling up ghosts and the new strings of sleeping ghosts sends what are called Jammer Pac-Men to your targets board. If opponents bump into these obstacles, their speed is significantly slowed. This debuff could be just enough to make them (or you; remember that they’re sending these tricky traps your way as they play, as well!) unable to outrun their ghostly pursuers and suffer elimination. One down…97 to go to become the Pac-One!
Nintendo Switch Online subscribers can snag Pac-Man 99 for free as of April 7th.