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Our Review by Carter Dotson on April 11th, 2011
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: EAT A CAR!
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Pac'n-Jump is an endless ascension platformer that has you controlling a Pac-Man through levels inspired by various classic Namco games.

Developer: Namco Mobile
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4G/iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Pac'n-Jump is Namco's attempt to capitalize on the endless ascension platformer genre that has seen games like Doodle Jump and Mega Jump become huge successes. In fact, Pac-n-Jump uses a hybrid of those games as a template, and then splashes Namco elements on top of it. You have standard platforms and disappearing platforms to jump on, as well as a spinning platform mechanism that appears, and can pick up fruits (we're counting keys as fruits in this case) and pellets that send you upward as you eat them. There are a variety of enemies that will kill you - thankfully, if you eat a power pellet, then you can eat them. Yes, this includes the cars in the Rally-X level; that Pac-Man has a bizarre appetite.

The game is a solid endless ascension platformer - a lot of the elements work well here, and while unlocking the game's 3 other levels are pretty easy, it still provides a nice compelling drive through the game. When all 4 levels are unlocked, then there are Game Center leaderboards and achievements to keep you coming back. The game provides plenty of fan service for fans of Namco games - if you love Dig Dug, Rally-X or Galaga, their levels will be particularly enjoyable, as their levels not only provide great fan service, but bring variety to the game in the differing elements each one brings, especially as some focus on platforming, and others use pellet/fruit collection as their primary design. The controls work well, and you have options for touch screen controls if you don't like tilting. The game is a universal app, as well - the game runs in a 960x640 window on the iPad, but that's still a solution that is far better than running it scaled.

The game is very derivative, though. It's pretty easy to pick out the influences of Doodle Jump and Mega Jump in the game. The Pac-Man elements work on the first level, where the ghosts clearly differentiate between being eatable and not, but there's only subtle visual cues in the other modes when your powerups run out. There is the musical cue of when you have a power pellet, but if you're not playing with sound, you're lost entirely.

While Pac'n-Jump is hardly the most original game on the App Store, it certainly adapts from its inspirations well and offers plenty of fan service along the way. Fans of the endless ascension platformer genre could do far worse.

iPhone Screenshots

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PAC'N-JUMP screenshot 1 PAC'N-JUMP screenshot 2 PAC'N-JUMP screenshot 3 PAC'N-JUMP screenshot 4 PAC'N-JUMP screenshot 5

iPad Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

PAC'N-JUMP screenshot 6 PAC'N-JUMP screenshot 7 PAC'N-JUMP screenshot 8 PAC'N-JUMP screenshot 9 PAC'N-JUMP screenshot 10
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