It’s Pac-Man’s 30th birthday, but the presents are for you! To celebrate this chomp-tacular occasion, Namco Games has a free Flash game on the official Pac-Man Web site! Oh, sure, there are a lot of free Flash games on the Internet, but this one is really fun and addicting. And it has Pac-Man in it, so you know I would talk about it anyway.
At first glance, Pac-Match Party looks like a Bejeweled clone. And at heart, it really is. Move two pieces next to each other to try and make a match of three colors disappear. But there are some unique Pac-Man touches that keep the gameplay fresh and interesting.
There are special Pac-Man icons scattered on the playfield, and if you line up a group of same-colored ghosts horizontally or vertically, Pac will move along and chomp the ghosts for bonus points. This also changes how the pieces fall when they disappear. In order to win, you must make matches on special purple colored tiles on the playfield. When all the purple tiles are gone, you go on to the next stage. If you match up three birthday presents, a power up becomes available. These presents let you clear our areas quickly, so you’ll want to stockpile them up for the later levels.
The timer circling the playfield has some Pac-elements to it as well. Pac-Man is being chased by a ghost all around the edges, and if he catches Pac-Man, time is up and the game is over. Make matches quickly to keep Pac-Man one step ahead of the ghost. If Pac-Man eats a birthday cake on the edge of the square timer, all the birthday cake icons on the field disappear and you get bonus points. Plus, if you make a match of four or more ghosts, fruit will appear on the outside and if Pac eats it, you guessed it, more bonus points!
Play control is easy since you just use the mouse, and the game saves your high scores and even lets you share your achievements with others. There are plenty of familiar classic sound effects, most from Pac-Mania or Super Pac-Man (two of my favorite classic Pac-Games). Even though you can play Pac-Match Party for free on the Internet, you can also buy it for the Apple iPhone. If I had one of those, I would definitely get Pac-Match Party for it. I wish they would make a downloadable version of Pac-Match Party for DS, DSiWare, WiiWare, or Xbox LIVE, as I would totally buy it there, too. So yeah, when you get bored today, hop on over to Pac-Man’s pad and check out Pac-Match Party!