Jr. Pac-Man features gameplay similar to the original Pac-Man, but with a few changes. As Jr., you need to eat all of the dots in a maze without running into the four ghosts that are trying to get you. The maze is now much larger, and no longer fits on a single screen. The maze will scroll around to follow the action. From time to time a tasty bonus will bounce around the screen which can be eaten for extra points. There are tricycles, kites, drums, balloons, trains, root beers, and other bonuses that appear as the levels progress. When the bonus items bounce around the screen, any dots they touch will become larger and are now worth 50 points each instead of 10. However, one of these larger dots will cause Jr. Pac-Man to slow down greatly when he eats them making it more difficult to remain one step ahead of the ghosts which constantly pursue him! Located throughout the maze are power pellets; when Jr. eats one of these, the ghosts will temporarily turn blue and can now be eaten to earn even more points.
Third in the Pac-Man series and the first Pac-Man game not converted to PC by Atari. Jr. Pac-Man stars the Pac Junior, the baby Pac who first appears in several intermission screens in Ms. Pac-Man, which stars his mother (sigh). The game at least sports several improvements from the earlier two Pac-Man games. For starters, the game is much more difficult, with large mazes that won't fit on a single screen. The monsters are much tougher to kill: even with two extra power pellets, they are very hard to avoid, especially since there are no escape tunnels at the edge of the screen like the first two games. As if making Pac-Man have a family isn't enough, the game also introduces Yum-Yum, a monster Pac Jr. falls in love with. In the intermissions, we see them run away from their parents, who don't approve of the forbidden love. It's all quite cute, if not ridiculous. With 5 different maze layouts in the game and challenging gameplay, even Pac-Man veterans will have a hard time finishing this one. Recommended, but not for the reflexes impaired (like yours truly).
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