After pulling the plug on selected Mario content and sparking a barrage of 'Mario is dead' memes online, Nintendo is shining the spotlight on another one of its iconic characters: Pac-Man. The yellow blob is cashing in on the battle royale craze with the newly announced Pac-Man 99.
Available exclusively for Nintendo Switch Online players, members of the service can download the new title at 6 a.m. PT / 9 a.m. ET / 2 p.m. BST today. If you've played Tetris 99, or Mario 35 (before support for the game was pulled on March 31), you'll be familiar with the concept: 99 players battle it out in their own private level, but the actions of the other 98 can impact your gameplay, and vice versa.
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The fundamentals of the game are the same as ever, with Pac-Man hoovering up Power Pellets to chase down and gobble up Ghosts.
The Ghosts will be sent to attack other players as Jammer Pac-Man — essentially Pac-Man ghosts that will slow down players when they make contact.
PAC-MAN™ is back in a new 99-PAC-MAN battle royale! PAC-MAN™ 99 goes live 4/7 at 6 PM PST, exclusively for #NintendoSwitchOnline members! #PACMAN99🟡🟡🟡 https://t.co/mnzEYXJnBl pic.twitter.com/1qOsEEvbHDApril 7, 2021
If you want to win, you'll have to go on the offensive and chomp your way through Sleeping Ghosts to form a Ghost Train. Once you've stacked up the train, guzzle down a pellet and chase it down with a fat line of Ghosts to flood opponents with Jammer Pac-Man.
On top of the basic gameplay, there are four power-ups to utilise: Stronger, Speed, Standard, and Train. Throw in the four targeting options — Knockout, Hunter, Counter, and Random — and you've got eight preset strategies to take out the competition and be the last Pac-Man standing.
If you fancy switching things up, there's a range of paid Namco DLC packs for offline modes and alternative themes; these come with different sound effects as well as a visual overhaul. The Pac-Man Deluxe pack will get you everything, and will set you back $29.99. Alternatively, you can pick up elements of the DLC individually for $1.99 each, and $14.99 for offline mode.
Pac-Man 99 lands later today, and weighs in at 767MB.
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