Defunct Games
  1. 1990
  2. 1991
  3. 1992
  4. 1993
  5. 1994
Ms. Pac-Man
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Ms. Pac-Man Ms. Pac-Man Ms. Pac-Man
  • Review Score:

  • B-
Gloria Steinem may disagree, but I would argue that Ms. Pac-Man is the perfect representation of the feminist spirit. Here is a character who commands respect. She was able to win over the masses by not just being as good as her male counterpart, but actually out-performing him in every
way. Best of all, she didn't need to dress sexy or exploit her curves to make it big. Her talent was enough to win the day.

Released late in the console's lifespan, Ms. Pac-Man was largely ignored by the hardcore set. By 1993, the arcade market had graduated to deep fighting games like Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat. Ms. Pac-Man was well over a decade old, hitting an 8-bit console at a time when everybody's attention was on 16-bits and beyond. Questionable timing aside, Ms. Pac-Man is a passable port of the classic arcade game.

Ms. Pac-Man (NES)

Ms. Pac-Man is more than a cosmetic shift, offering a number of changes that improve the game in substantial ways. For one thing, this version of the game offers four different mazes to race through, four times the amount of the original Pac-Man. The ghosts also behave differently, giving expert players a run for their money. Other improvements include cinemas, bonus fruit that bounce around the level and changing warp paths.

This NES port is no better or worse than what you would expect. It's a barebones cartridge that gives you the game and nothing more. This single-minded package may have worked in 1988, but not in 1993. This was released two months after Super Mario All-Stars, a cart with four upgraded classics. Any one of those Mario games was deeper and more involved than Ms. Pac-Man, so it's a little hard to justify such a stingy NES game.

Ms. Pac-Man (NES)

For whatever reason, this version of Ms. Pac-Man is a lot slower than other ports. The gameplay is responsive enough, but that feeling of frantically speeding through the mazes is gone. Thankfully the game remains challenging, even if some of the fun is missing.

Playing it now, Ms. Pac-Man is a slightly flawed port of an arcade gem. I was impressed with the presentation and had a lot of fun trying to beat my high score. This may not be a very impressive cartridge, but it gets the job done. If you have to choose between Pac-Man games, Ms. Pac-Man is always the right answer.