Okay, I love crazy stuff like this. So back in the XBLA days, there was a game called Pac-Man Championship Edition, which was an HD version of Pac-Man that completely changed the rules so that the maze kept changing every time you cleared half of it. The game was an XBLA hit, and went on to spawn a revision and a sequel in the years that followed.
But I'm not talking about the XBLA game. Nope. I'm talking about the "Famicom" game. You see in 2020 Namcot released a collection of their Famicom games on Switch, and went ahead and demade Pac-Man CE for Famicom. Except, of course there's no way this could have actually run on the Famicom. At least I don't think it could, with the procederally generated mazes and all. But still - it's cool to see the mock artwork for the cartridge, and imagine that THIS IS a new Famicom game in 2020 released by a major publisher.
Maybe the biggest surprise (to me) is that it's SUPER FUN. I did a bunch of runs, and started to get the hang of some strategy. The goal is to last for a full five minutes, and within that five minutes it's all about going for a high score. So you're balancing out the risk/reward of multiple things. Eating all the dots on one half of the maze causes a fruit to spawn on the other side; eating that fruit will create a new other half of the maze. So you need to think about eating dots, eating fruit, eating ghosts and living long enough to see the timer tick down. Do you just stay in the center maze? Do you venture off into the unknown? Do you avoid the ghosts or go after them? Which of these things do you focus on?
There's tons of strategy and depth here, and it's all played out in five minute bursts. Really really fun stuff that makes this Namcot collection - as slight as it may be - worth owning.
Okay, wait, I'm WRONG. Apparently this WAS actually a homebrew game from 2008 that originally did run on Famicom hardware. Wow. That makes it even more impressive. And I love when homebrew stuff is given a legit release - even if it took twelve years. The story makes it akin to how Ms. Pac-Man started off as a hack that was originally licensed as a legit product. So cool.
Anyway, this game is really cool. My top score is 201,000 so far.