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An arcade game first released in Japan on May 22, 1980.

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Happy 30th Birthday to the Most Awesome Arcade Game Ever!

  • May 21, 2010
If you went to Google.com today and were wondering why you were greeted with a Google logo-sized version of Pac-Man...  Well, it's because on this day 30 years ago, Pac-Man was first released by Namco in Japan, thus forever cementing it in gaming, pop culture, and Awesomeness history.

To me, Pac-Man was always one of those games where it was more about the journey than the destination.  High scores and getting to the highest level were never the motivators for me.  There's just something strangely satisfying about navigating a yellow chomping circle around a maze as he eats up small dots while running away from the squiggly-legged monsters Shadow/Blink, Speedy/Pinky, Bashful/Inky and Pokey/Clyde, who occasionally turn into blinking ghosts when Pac-Man chomps on an Energizer.  In which case, Pac-Man gets to chase them back.  If he gets hungry, there are also fruits for him to eat.  Oh, and did I mention how awesome the music and sound effects are?

Though I may not be huge into the scoring of Pac-Man, I'm well aware that there are plenty of people out there who are.  From my Pac-Man expert friend, I learned about how a Pac-Man tournament would work and how being successful at Pac-Man included earning the most number of points in the lowest number of games, and by attaining the seemingly elusive watermelon.  There are also many webpages dedicated to Pac-Man and Pac-Man strategy, complete with turn-by-turn directions.  Who knew?

In the past three decades since Pac-Man was released, we've seen many variations and spin-offs.  There has been a TV show, board game, music sampling, the emergence of a Ms. Pac-Man, the marriage of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, countless references in pop culture, a potential movie deal, not to mention that there's all sorts of Pac-Man fan gear out there.  There was even a real-life Pac-Man recreation in Manhattan called Pac-Manhattan where NYU students dressed up as Pac-Man characters and recreated the game using cellphones to communicate with each other.

Since it's Friday, I suggest you go to the arcade for happy hour tonight and split a pint with some buddies (or just yourself, if that's your thing) and endlessly insert coins into the Pac-Man machine in honor of Pac-Man.

That, or you can just crack open a beer and play on the Google search page or here:

Happy 30th Birthday, Pac-Man!  You haven't aged a bit at all ;)
Happy 30th Birthday to the Most Awesome Arcade Game Ever! Happy 30th Birthday to the Most Awesome Arcade Game Ever!

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September 16, 2010
I probably could have gone to college three times over (and received a doctorate every time) with the quarters I blew on this game. Great review!
April 11, 2011
Just noticed this comment, but thanks! That's awesome/hilarious! :P
September 02, 2010
I will tell you what, I am an Atari boy all the way. I can't even play the new games. I am stuck in the 1980s!!! Pac-Man is awesome. It is the only video game I can beat (just about) anyone. I know that it is sort of sad that this is my fame to fortune, but what can I say. Great post!!! The Straw Man
September 02, 2010
*high five!*  And shoot, I thought I was old school with my SNES!  Then you busted out your Atari :P  I don't play newer games either.  I'm stuck in my ways with these awesome old school games.  Thanks for reading, Josh!
September 02, 2010
Yeah I am a wild guy!!!!! I use to have a NES and SNES. Simon's Quest was awesome!!! How about Super Mario Bros World? I loved your post.
August 15, 2010
Short of Mario, THE video game craze of the 80s. Often imitated and never duplicated. We had this on the 5200 and it was pretty good there.
September 02, 2010
This game was pretty much the epitome of the 80's! 5200 though, eh? Awesome! :D
June 02, 2010
"Awesomeness history", could not have put it better myself.
June 07, 2010
Yup, thanks, Alex! :D
May 30, 2010
I'm surprised I overlooked this review.  Now, I'm ashamed to admit that I'm not much of a big Pac-Man fan.  I never got into the Arcade fever and the NES game is hardly enough to do the game justice (it's not half as bad as the Atari version which doesn't even look a thing like Pac-Man!).  I'm not surprised by all the pages dedicated to helping people defeat Pac-Man.  G4 used to have a show called Icons (well, back when G4 actually showed stuff that had to do with gaming) where a man (he was recorded as the first one to ever beat Pac-Man) said that there actually little tricks built into the game to help you along.  In some instances you can hide Pac-Man in a corner where he'll go unharmed for several minutes.  It's pretty cool stuff.

I think Pac-Man is awesome because of that old school charm.  I just wish I had been more of a fan of the game.  It's a shame that I wasn't.
June 07, 2010
I gasped at your second statement. How could you??? ;P I never got into arcade fever either. ...I mostly just liked the pizza (duh), but Pac-Man, I could never pass up. Very cool about G4 and that tip. Well, even if you're not a huge fan of this game, at least you can say you dig its nostalgic value :)
May 26, 2010
hee-hee. Nice tribute to the almighty video game. Have you seen those battery operated pac-man toys that chases those battery operated monsters and they go beep? They are pretty cool and quite cute I might add.
May 26, 2010
Thanks, Woo! And no, but now I want them!
May 25, 2010
Love love love Pac Man! I even love Ms. Pac Man more! ;)
May 25, 2010
I never played Ms. Pac-Man before, but something tells me that I'd love it, eyelashes, bows and all! :D
May 25, 2010
Yeah, it's super cute, mainly cause she's a girl. ;)
May 22, 2010
Pac-Man is fun! You're not into scoring? Hmm, I get the kick out of scoring, same for Tetris & MJ!
May 23, 2010
I care less about scoring in these games than I do about getting to the next level, at least when I'm playing by myself. But if we're having a stand off... Then it's on! >:D
May 22, 2010
"Happy 30th Birthday, Pac-Man! You haven't aged a bit at all ;) "

It's true, it's sad to see how many men are resorting to plastic surgery these days.
May 23, 2010
They should take a hint from Pac-Man ;)
May 23, 2010
Yeah, because as technology improves so do his looks. Compare the original version to the latest version. He's put on a bit of weight I think. ;  )
May 23, 2010
Hey, as long as he's still able to run away from and chase Shadow/Blink, Speedy/Pinky, Bashful/Inky and Pokey/Clyde, and more importantly, lock down Ms. Pac-Man, it's allllll good ;)
May 22, 2010
In Orlando there is a great Pac Man museum/restaurant complete with vintage arcade...went there in '05 on my way to the Keys and geeked out for hours and hours. In the original Namco version there was a place you could rest in the maze where you were invisible to the ghosts - they just stop chasing you! Kind of worked like a jinky 1980s pause button. It is incredible the amount of culture that little yellow guy generated, I grew up on "Pac Man Fever" and the like. Thanks for honoring the little chomper, cheers!
May 23, 2010
Wow, a safe spot? I had no idea there was such a thing! Yes, I hear ya on how big this little yellow guy became. Thanks for your comment! :)
1 2 Next
More Pac-Man reviews
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Awesomeness
Classic arcade game about a little yellow guy who eats pills, ghosts and fruit. Get your self a pocketfull of quarters and go to the arcade.
Quick Tip by . May 21, 2010
posted in Awesomeness
Happy 30th Birthday to the most awesome arcade game ever! Check out Google.com today ;)
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devora ()
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When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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About this video game


Pac-Man  is an arcade game developed by Namco and licensed for distribution in the U.S. by Midway, first released in Japan on May 22, 1980. Immensely popular in the United States from its original release to the present day, Pac-Man is universally considered as one of the classics of the medium, virtually synonymous with video games, and an icon of the 1980s popular culture. Upon its release, the game—and, subsequently, its derivatives—became a social phenomenon that sold a bevy of merchandise and also inspired, among other things, an animated television series and a top-ten hit single.

When Pac-Man was released, the most popular arcade video games were space shooters, in particular Space Invaders and Asteroids. The most visible minority were sports games that were mostly derivative of Pong. Pac-Man succeeded by creating a new genre and appealing to both genders. Pac-Man is often credited with being a landmark in video game history, and is among the most famous arcade games of all time. The character also appears in more than 30 officially licensed game spin-offs, as well as in numerous unauthorized clones and bootlegs. According to the Davie-Brown Index, Pac-Man has the highest brand awareness of any video game character among American consumers, recognized by 94 percent of them.
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Number of Players: 1
Publisher: Midway, Namco
Developer: Namco
Console: Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 5200
Release Date: 1980
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