Things you didn’t know about Pac-Man

The little yellow circle that is Pac-Man is an iconic symbol of gaming, that is recognised worldwide. It’s the game that everyone knows how to play and is just as fun now, over 37 years after being created, as it was back then – even with the vast improvements in gaming and graphics, you just cannot beat the originals. That said, do you think you know everything about Pac-Man?

For example, did you know that it is the most successful coin-operated game ever? 400,000 Pac-Man machines had been sold by 1990, and venue had hit over $3.5 billion (which would now be worth closer to $7.5 billion!). Other than slot games Pac-Man has made the most money from people inserting their coins to play.

As mentioned in geek-gaming movie Scott Pilgrim Versus the World, the game was originally going to be called Puck-Man, (due to the resemblance to a hockey puck) however, forward-thinking executives realised the temptation for vandals to change the P to look like an F on the machines and decided to change the name to something much harder to make profane.

How many levels are in the game? Well, it is possible to get to level 255; however, you can never complete it as it glitches and the screen fills with numbers and nonsensical symbols.

You might be interested to know that there are 244 dots to be eaten by Pac-Man, each worth 10 points. The larger dots (sometimes known as power cookies) are worth 50 points, and the bonus items (the fruit, spaceship, key, and bell) are all worth between 100-5000 points. The highest possible score overall is 3,333,360 which was achieved by Billy Mitchell in 1999 after a wrist-aching 6-hour gaming session!

In Britain, the ghosts are named, Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde, whereas Japan named the ghosts based on their behavior. For example, the chaser, ambusher, fickle and feigning ignorance. This helped them know what each ghost was likely to do and play ahead.

The Pac-Man brand is so well recognized that elements have appeared in various films. Of course, Adam Sandler’s questionable movie Pixels in 2015 had Pac-Man as a pretty main character, but Clyde (the orange ghost) popped up in Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph and Pac-Man himself appears in Tron.

One of the most popular Google Doodles ever was to celebrate Pac-Man’s 30th birthday and allowed visitors to play the game on the Google search homepage. It is estimated that the drop in productivity that this caused cost the global economy around $120m!

Now, is it just us, or is anyone else desperate to go and play a few levels right now?