Review by larrythepenguin

Reviewed: 01/02/06

Larrythepenguin's Pac n' Roll at a glance

Pac n' Roll! you'll hear the famed yellow ball exclaim at the screen's title. This simple introductory screen basically gives the premise behind the game. Rolling pacman around brightly colored platformer worlds is the theme behind this game, with the only diversion being an unlockable of the original pacman arcade game (across two screens!) Though simple in concept, this game has a whole lot to offer, as you'll see through this review!

Story:::::
A prequel to Ms. Pacman! This game takes place before the couple, Pacman and Pacgirl get married. Evil rock n' roll alien, Glovis, is out causing trouble. Using his evil powers, the Pac-clan have all lost their limbs (sounds similar to another DS game... *cough kirbycanvascurse cough*). The story doesn't matter much, and is only used as a way to connect worlds together (in typical platformer fashion). But for what is does (connects the events between pacman and ms. pacman, and even ties the 80s TV show in the mix!), it does it well. no complaints here- 10/10

Graphics:::::
Graphically, this game has quite a bit to offer as far as DS games go, as it contains nicely designed 3d worlds. a 3d pacman-trackball fills a good portion of the touchscreen, with a 2d wallpaper style background that differs on the world you're currently playing. The top screen contains the action, wich consists of 3d platformer worlds. a fully 360degree camera shows that these worlds are, indeed, 3d. Nice little effects, such as as blue blur behind pacman when he dashes arn't abundant, but they get the job done nicely. Some layered fog is also presant in some levels- 8/10

Art Direction:::::
This game shines in the art department, as it doesn't just stick with the standard level themes that have been abundant since super mario 64. instead of a flame, underwater, and jungle level, Pacman has levels such as a Halloween style world, a castle in the sky, a candyland, a spaceship, etc. Nice and varried. Also, the short-story cutscenes are played storybook style (which seems to be borrowed from pacpix) It works nicely though- 9/10

Gameplay::::
The big factor in any game! Gameplay is simple, yet effective- Scroll your stylus on the touchscreen to move pacman around the world, collecting pac pellets. Swipe to the edge, and Pacman will do a dash. The platforming worlds start at simple, but quickly lay down the difficulty, getting frustrating at times, but never too hard to complete after a few tries. Pacman's regular enemies, the ghosts, are presant in this game, but with a twist. When a ghost hits pacman, you must quickly tap the touchscreen, until the ghost lets pacman go. However, the ghosts may be eatin with the help of power pills, of which several may be found in each level. Two powerups are in this game, one,the knight hat, makes you heavier, allowing you to get to the bottom of pools of water, and other such things. The other powerup, the robin hood feather hat, makes you lighter, allowing you to float to platforms that would otherwise be unreachable. Overall, this game could use some tweaking to get rid of frustrating moments, but they shouldn't ruin the game for you- 7/10

Replayability::::
the game doesn't have many unlockables (with the original pacman arcade game being the only one). But, replayability is still pretty high, as a time attack, and challenge can be completed on every level. For those that like to unlock everything, over 120 gems can be obtained through various ways in this game (such as collecting every pac-pellet in each level). I'd guess around 10-20 hours (or more) lay in this game, depending on your skill level. On another note, the unlockable pacman game is across two screens, which can lead to some problems, but it isn't unplayable- 7/10

Conclusion::::
This game has intertained me for quite a while, and I see it as a bit of a hidden gem in the slew of DS games, as hardly anyone mentions it. I enjoy this game much more than Mario 64 DS, and it's (imo) the best 3d platformer for the system. If you want straightforward action, with an innovative twist, you'd be hard set to go wrong with Pac n' Roll!

final score (overall, not an average) 8/10

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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