I would love to know Pac-Man’s skin care regimen because he is looking great for 40 years old. Bandai America is celebrating the anniversary with a Pac-Man Tamagotchi, combining the best of ‘80s and ‘90s nostalgia.
While this retro mashup seems super exciting, don’t get too hyped up: It’s very similar to the regular Tamagotchi. The Tamagotchi character grows and evolves into different characters based on how well you take care of it. Like the original, it will alert you with a beep if it needs something, and you can feed it or play with it to make it happy.
I’m a ‘90s purist so I prefer the original, but there are a few Pac-Man updates that fans of the little yellow chomper might appreciate. If your Tamagotchi baby is feeling down in the dumps, you can cheer it up by feeding it Pac-Man’s favorite food: cherries. But if your Tamagotchi is sad for too long, it will run away from home.
Like other Tamagotchis, there are two mini-games included, but they have a Pac-Man twist. In the Pac Game, players must eat dots while avoiding ghosts. It’s like a more basic version of the original arcade game with only three rows of dots instead of an entire screen. If the Tamagotchi runs into a ghost, the game is over. In the Catch Game, the Tamagotchi must quickly change directions to eat cherries, dots, power pellets, and ghosts when they pop up on the screen.
The biggest difference between the original Tamagotchi and this special edition is that the Pac-Man Tamagotchi can experience ghost and bug outbreaks. The only way to get rid of them is to summon Pac-Man for help, and he will chase them away or eat them. The ghosts are pretty cute, but the bugs look like an ominous, swarming cloud. They’re actually a reference to the split-screen level — aka the map 256 glitch — in the 256th level of the original Pac-Man arcade game, in which the screen turns into a tangle of numbers and letters. If you leave the bugs on screen for too long, they will murder your Tamagotchi. R.I.P.
The toy itself is available in yellow or black with Pac-Man graphics on it. There is also a deluxe version that comes with a Pac-Man case to hold the device. The Tamagotchi egg is much smaller than the original — a little too small, IMO. It’s difficult to see the screen and to press the buttons. Because of the size, it seems more like a novelty key chain than a virtual pet. But don’t be fooled because you can’t take your eyes off these little stinkers for a second unless you want them to suffer a cruel death.
The Pac-Man Tamagotchi is available to preorder on Amazon and will be available in stores on March 15.
Photos: Bandai America