Pac-Man 99 (Switch)

Battle Royale games usually pit you against 100 or so other players as you fight to the death with the last one standing the victor.  Most of these kinds of games are shooters, and because of that, I never thought I’d play a Battle Royale style game.  But a couple of years ago, Nintendo released Tetris 99, which I still play from time to time.  Later they released a similar game called Super Mario Bros. 35, which I dabbled in a little bit, but not much (I’m not as big of a fan of the original Super Mario Bros. game as people think I am).  But boy they sure got me with their latest ‘99’ Battle Royale style game featuring a classic.  This time with Pac-Man 99, where you play the original Pac-Man game against 99 other players!  It’s available as a freebie to Nintendo Switch Online users.  But how does it work?  Well you’ll just have to read on to find out!

So it plays like the classic original Pac-Man game.  Eat dots, avoid ghosts, and gobble power pellets so you can chomp the ghosts.  But since you’re playing with 99 others, each time you eat a ghost, you send an obstacle to another player.  But they can do the same to you!  These obstacles take the form of little white outlined Pac-Men.  If you run over them, you’ll slow down a bit.  Later on in the round, some of the outlined Pac-Men will be red, and if you hit one of those, you’ll die!  Last Pac-Man standing wins.

They added a few new rules to the original game to keep things interesting, though.  Taking a cue form Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, there are lines of sleeping ghosts you can run over, and when you do, you’ll leave a chain behind the ghosts.  Then when you eat a power pellet, you can gobble the chain and send a bunch of obstacles to other players.  Eating bonus fruit refills dots, power pellets, and sleeping ghosts in the maze, so the game is more about eating those fruits and power pellets rather than just clearing the maze of dots.  And like Tetris 99, you can choose how and which other players to attack as well.  Anyway, I really liked this game and I recommend you download it if you have a Switch and an online account.


Even though the game is free, you can only play the one mode.  But there is some DLC that gives you other gameplay modes and maze ‘skins.’  You can buy each separately, but can also purchase the whole bunch for 20 bucks, which is what I recommend doing and is what I did, since I’m such a sucker for classic Namco stuff.  Anyway, so now I’ll go over all the DLC.

Game Modes

You can get a few new game modes.  One lets you play the main game with friends via Private Matches.  Not sure if I’ll be doing that anytime soon.  You can also play the main game with all computer opponents in CPU Battle.  Try to get as high of a score as you can in Score Attack, and finish mazes without running out of time in Blind Time Attack.

Maze “Skins”

You can also change the graphics in the maze to look like other things.  There are some fairly generic ones, but some of these do make reference to other Pac-Man games.  Vector just fills in the outlines of the maze to a solid blue, and makes the fruit look more 16-bit.  Colorful looks like the first stage in arcade Pac-Man Arrangement.  Frame looks like Pac-Man’s Park from Pac-Mania, and Blocks looks like the LEGO Block Town from the same game.  Panel Blocks just has solid colored blocks on the floor of the maze, and Igloo is pretty self explanatory.  Garden also looks like one of the stages in arcade Pac-Man Arrangement.  And last, Log House looks like a cabin, and I like how the top parts of the maze look like windows!

Classic Namco Themes

The rest of the game ‘skins’ are based on other classic Namco arcade games.  I’m not going to describe them all, as there are just so many!  But they all use graphics and characters from their respective titles, and try to use as many exclusive sound effects as they can. Although when you eat a power pellet, the enemies still turn into blue ghosts.  I do like some of the subtle details they put into these skins.  For instance, in the Wonder Momo maze, they play the regular theme, but when you eat a power pellet, the music changes to Wonder Momo’s transformation song!  Also, when you play with one of these mazes, you’ll get a special icon to use as your profile pic afterwards.  I like how they didn’t dumb down the names of the icons either.  For instance, the Dig Dug icon is named Taizo Hori, and the Baraduke icon is Masayo Toby.  But they did name some of the maze just “Namco Classic” whatever, instead of the actual name of the game, which I don’t understand.  Anyway, here are a list of the rest of the Namco Classic maze skins.

New Rally-X


The Tower of Druaga



Dig Dug

The Genji and the Heike Clans

Yokai Douchuuki

Dragon Buster

The Legend of Valkyrie

Cosmo Gang: The Video

Metro Cross

Rolling Thunder

Wonder Momo



The Return of Ishtar

Dragon Spirit



And those are all the skins!  Only problem I have with them is that some of them are a bit distracting and make it hard to see enemies and dots.  So it’s best to stick with the original skin.  Although I did get my best score while playing on the Mappy maze!  Another problem is that even though you get a bunch of things, I still think the DLC is a bit too pricey at 20 bucks.  It’s just Pac-Man after all.  One minor problem is that since you only get one life, a round can end pretty quickly, but that’s just how the game goes.  One thing I really like about the game is how good I am at it.  I can rarely get high up in rankings in Tetris 99, but I frequently get high rankings on Pac-Man 99.  I even got number two once, which I have picture proof below.  One of these days I’ll get Number One!  I need to play it more, though.  Haven’t fired it up in a while!

Kid Factor:

Pac-Man 99 is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence.  Pac-Man can eat ghosts and they turn into eyes and dash back to their hideout.  Some of the skins have sound effects that sound like muffled “arghs” and such.  But that’s about as violent as it gets.  But come on, it’s Pac-Man!  This is one of the defining games of my childhood, if not THE defining game of my childhood.  And I think I turned out OK.  Plus, whenever parents ask me which video games to start their kids on, the first ones I recommend are arcade classics like Pac-Man.  Worked for me, anyway!

One Response to “Pac-Man 99 (Switch)”

  1. The graphics looks sort of rough, but I guess with so much going on, that’s to be expected. Looks cool. Pac-Man is immortal.

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