Yup that’s right, it’s been 30 years ago today that the game was first released in Japanese arcades. And now the king of yellow spheres and dot munching has reached another milestone. This is the first “Google Doodle” (the company’s name for the unique event and holiday-specific logos) that doubles as an interactive game!
If you go to google.com’s frontpage, you can play the ENTIRE game of Pac-Man. That’s right, all 255 levels, complete with a 256th level “kill screen”, just like the original arcade release! And that includes all the proper sounds, dots, fruit to collect, points and all. Except the stage is in the shape of the google logo! It’s quite challenging as well . . . just like the original Pac-Man. Yes. I fail.
It gets better… There’s even a 2-player co-op mode! If you click the “Insert Coin” button twice at the start, Ms. Pac-Man gets added to the game. The 2nd player controls her with the WSAD keys, with the 1st player still using the arrows, that way two people can work together to clear the levels of all those delicious dots!
So who is the genius behind this? It is none other than “senior user experience designer” Marcin Wichary, who was exposed to Pac-Man at the age of five while he traveled across his native Poland with his dad. Who was himself a game technician. And what were they doing? They were on their way to repair an arcade machine, of course. A PAC-MAN machine.
Wichary worked with Ryan Germick to create the finished playable design you see now. Be sure to at least give it a look. It’s extremely cool to see.