Unlike previous attempts to update the Pac-Man franchise, such as Ms. Pac-Man: Maze Madness or Pac-Man: Adventures in Time, Ms. Pac-Man: Quest for the Golden Maze is made up entirely of single-screen mazes and doesn't stray very far from the original's run-and-chomp gameplay. There are a few notable additions to spice up the action, but those looking for anything more than a straightforward revision of the game will be disappointed.
Apart from the basic but generally appealing 3D visuals, there's nothing in Quest for the Golden Maze that couldn't have been accomplished back in the early '80s. The Baby Ghost, power-ups and bonus mazes are nice touches that don't radically affect the game, which might be good or bad depending on your perspective. Purists will appreciate how closely the gameplay resembles the 1981 arcade version, but others won't like it for the same reason.
The visuals, while rendered in 3D, don't add much to the gameplay either, as the most effective view of the action is from the classic overhead perspective. The "follow" view is more attractive but less useful, since you can't see the entire maze at once. The music is light and jazzy, giving the game a laid back air, but there's only one song that repeats over and over. Listen closely at the title screen though, and you'll hear a smooth jazz rendition of the original's familiar theme song. Overall, the game looks and feels like a skilled individual, rather than a professional development team, programmed it.
Only recommendable to hardcore fans, Ms. Pac-Man: Quest for the Golden Maze is a basic rendition of the familiar game that laudably retains the arcade version's addictive nature but doesn't offer enough to make it preferable to playing the original. There's no real story to speak of beyond the few sentences appearing in the manual, and it's much easier than either the arcade game or any of its various home incarnations. While there's nothing particularly wrong the experience, the game's overall blandness and lack of innovation keeps it from being a real winner.
Graphics: The 3D visuals are clean and colorful, but they aren't really three-dimensional in the true sense of the word.
Sound: The single song serves as nice background music but a greater variety of tunes obviously would be welcome.
Enjoyment: The game plays like an easier version of Ms. Pac-Man but doesn't make substantial improvements or changes to the familiar gameplay.
Replay Value: The mazes are overly similar apart from occasional changes in visual design, but the solid nature of the underlying gameplay offers adequate replay value.
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Pac-Man: Adventures in Time, Pac-Man All-Stars, Pac-Man World 3, Ms Pac PC, Ms. Pac-Man, Missile Command, Pac Man, Namco Museum 50th Anniversary
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