PAC-MAN Dash is Namco’s attempt to crack the overcrowded mobile market and appeal to a new generation of potential PAC fans.
Sadly, while it’s fun in short bursts, I find it difficult to recommend Dash over other endless running games, especially with the likes of Jetpack Joyride and Dead Ahead already on the market.
Dash doesn’t attempt to offer players any new experiences, simply borrowing what it thinks is a winning formulas and dressing it up in a PAC-MAN theme.
The game initially feels like a cross between Jetpack Joyride and Sonic, minus a compelling storyline and any meaningful item pick-ups.
It’s colourful, well animated, fast, and at least initially, fun.
But the formula wears thin when you realise that you’re not actually being chased by ghosts, but rather chasing ghosts.
A large dose of PAC-MAN’s formula is missing in this case, especially with the absence of a maze, power pills, and having to elude ghosts.
What you’re left with is a generic runner in PAC’s clothing – arguably an impostor in the PAC-MAN series of games.
Items have to be earned by completing objectives and can only be assigned between attempts.
Furthermore, items are timed and will have run out by the time you next play, leading to a lot of frustration.
It’s not clear how PAC-MAN Dash fits into the PAC-MAN universe. With its loose links to PAC-MAN’s arcade heritage, it’s difficult as an older gamer to recommend Dash to anyone.
If you want to rediscover PAC-MAN, or you wish for your children to discover it, simply fire up the original game.
And if you are searching for a decent endless runner, then keep doing so. Check out either Temple Run 2 or Dead Ahead, the latter being my current favourite.