A brand new Pac-Man game, Pac-Man 99, launched today exclusively on the Nintendo Switch, and you can play it for free if you are a Nintendo Switch Online subscriber.
Like the similar one Tetris 99 and the now decommissioned Mario 35, Pac-Man 99 puts a big competitive spin on the original Pac-Man arcade game. The core Pac-Man gameplay is here: You move Pac-Man around a maze-like level, eating dots and fruit while avoiding ghosts. Munching a power pellet puts Pac-Man on the offensive for a few seconds so you can bite the ghostly pursuers and temporarily remove them from the level.
But Pac-Man 99 has a new threat to contend with: 98 other players.
Each person in a match plays their own Pac-Man level, and if they are caught by a ghost, they lose the match. Players can influence opponents’ games by eating ghosts to send a “Jammer Pac-Man” to another player’s board. Touching a Jammer Pac-Man slows Pac-Man’s movement, making it easier for the ghosts to catch you.
Pac-Man 99 also introduces new boot elements that allow for extra play styles, such as collecting “ghost train” combinations that increase the player’s personal score, throw opponents with extra Jammer Pac-Men, or increase the game’s speed for an additional challenge and higher rewards.
Each Pac-Man 99 the match lasts until a player is left – but you get rewards even if you do not win the round. The points you earn while playing will unlock elements of the game such as avatar icons.
Pac-Man 99 has other game modes if you do not want to play match-royale matches, including CPU match and single player. However, these additional modes are not included in the base and must be purchased separately. You can also buy unique themes that change the game see. There are over 20 available at launch, and each one is based on other Namco arcade games such as Dig Dug, Galaga, Tower of Druaga, and Xevious.
Someone is calling Pac-Man 99 The “replacement” for Mario 35, since it arrives only a week after Nintendo closed Mario 35s serve and both games share similar game perceptions. However, it looks like Pac-Man 99 is here to stay, and not a time-limited event like Mario 35 spring. That said, considering that Pac-Man is now the third retro title to receive combat-royal treatment on Switch, it makes you wonder if we’ll see more games in the “99” series. I for one could go for one Donkey Kong 99 or The legend of Zelda 99.
Pac-Man 99 unlocks April 7 at 6pm Pacific / 9pm East. It is available as a free download at Nintendo Switch eShop for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, and you can download it early so you can start playing immediately when it’s available.
The Nintendo Switch Online service costs $ 4 for a month, $ 8 for three months or $ 20 per year. You can also sign up for one bundle which supports up to seven accounts for a single charge of $ 35 per year.