Publisher Bandai Namco and developer Hipster Whale have finally released the long-awaited Pac-Man 256 on smartphones.
The game, from the studio behind the extremely popular Crossy Road, is named after the infamous level 256 glitch in the original Pac-Man. Due to some technical peculiarities of that title, the 8-bit level counter was limited to a total of 255. Therefore, hitting Level 256 caused everything to go very badly wrong.
Pac-Man 256 is faithful to the original in that players assume the familiar role, munching dots, fruit and ghosts. However, unlike traditional Pac-Man the screen constantly scrolls up (like Crossy Road). Power-ups are also available, while score is calculated on a number of things such as consecutive dots munched and ghosts eaten.
Crossy Road is known for its generous IAP system that didn't prevent gameplay and instead offered an in-game currency that offered cosmetic and visual changes. 256 isn't quite as generous, although players are free to play for as long as they like – with one caveat.
To play the game or continue after death players must spend a credit. When credits run out, a 10-minute cool down timer is put into effect. However, players are free to carry on as long as they like in free play mode, which is exactly the same except that power ups are not available.
Credits can be purchased with cash or earned by watching videos. Unlimited credits can be obtained for 5.99, or 12 can be bought for 79p. There are also coins, which can be used to level up power-ups. Again, these can be earned in game or purchased.