Venerable gaming hero Pac-Man sure gets around. He’s appeared in all kinds of genres, including several puzzlers. Now Pac-Man is back in another puzzle game called Pac-Man Monsters from GREE and Namco Bandai. It’s free to play with in-app purchases.
Pac-Man Monsters isn’t just a puzzle game. It’s actually a puzzle RPG with monster collecting elements – basically a mash-up of Pac-Man with Puzzle and Dragons. There’s so much to do, see, and collect in Pac-Man Monsters – read on for details.
Save the Pac kingdom
In this puzzle-RPG, players form a team of Pacs and monsters to do battle against other monster teams. There are more than 100 unique monsters, which you collect by summoning them with soft and hard currency or evolving them from other monsters. They all look great thanks to an attractive Japanese art style.
Although previous Pac-puzzle games like Pac-Attack have been less than exciting, Pac-Man Monsters actually has a really good puzzle engine. At the top of the screen you’ll see your team on the left and the enemy team on the right. At the bottom sits the puzzle field – standard stuff so far.
The puzzle field consists of pellets with various colored backgrounds. Each of these colors represents an element embodied by friendly and unfriendly monsters. Every element is strong and weak against another, creating a paper-rock-scissors mechanic when damage is calculated.
During your turn, you draw a line between 12 dots or spaces. Our hero Pac-Man then eats the dots, converting them into damage for your monsters to deal. Power pellets, ghosts, and fruits occasionally show up in the puzzle field as well. Eat a power pellet before chomping a ghost and you’ll gain both a damage bonus and money for your troubles. Fruits heal your party, and special power-ups will activate your monster’s unique special moves.
The world map contains various locations for Pac and his party to visit. Each location offers a series of quests to complete. These consist of a series of battles, often punctuated by a boss fight. Special bosses pop up during quests as well, which you can choose to fight in order to earn extra money and items. The money earned in quests can be spent on summoning monsters, whereas the items seem to be mostly used as ingredients during the evolution process.
In addition to regular quests, the game also offers limited time special quests. Completing these quests gives players the chance to earn unique monsters and items. The current special quest “Pac-Man Vs. Galaga” features Galaga-themed enemies and a very peppy techno mix of the Galaga theme.
Quests cost stamina to play. After all, this is a free to play game. Luckily the stamina meter fills up fairly quickly, and your meter increases as you level up too.
Recruit friends to help save Pac-Land!
Whenever you embark on a quest, you’re allowed to bring along a guest monster from another player’s team. These monsters help out in battle just like your own creatures, but you don’t get to keep them. You do get the chance to send friend requests to the monster’s owner, however. Friends can send items to each other and even team up together.
From my brief time playing it, Pac-Man Monsters seems to be an engrossing puzzle-RPG that Pac-Man and Pokémon fans will love.
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