Top Critic Average
A lack of any kind of tutorial is frustrating at first, but once you get the hang of the action, it's a fun way to fill lulls in your day
I’m still often confused about what’s going on, and why, but it’s impressive how the bones of Pac-Man fit so neatly into a battle royale experience, with so much thought put into the use of intel and basic strategy that the skill ceiling is currently hard to fathom. Then there’s the fact that you can have the whole game loaded and be in a full match in just a minute or two. The result is both confounding and empowering. When I win, it’s of course due to my skill, and when I lose?
PAC-MAN 99 is another hit for Arika, this time with one of the most iconic arcade games of all time. It’s a bit surprising just how well Pac-Man fits into the 99-player battle royale format, but that’s just a testament to the work done by the developers. PAC-MAN 99 has me excited for whatever the developer’s put out next.
Overall I’m really enjoying Pac-Man 99. It’s a great pick-up and play title for when you have just a couple of minutes and are looking for something to do. The gameplay is fast-paced, competitive, and surprisingly addicting. If you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, there’s no reason not to give the game a shot.
Pac-Man 99 is destined to become your latest addiction. Whether it's one match or ten matches in the same session, this is a pure pick-up-and-play title. The legendary Pac-Man gameplay is presented with a modern twist that is sure to leave fans happy. While the gameplay mechanics could have been explained better and the offline modes shouldn't have been locked behind a paywall, Pac-Man 99 is a fantastic reason to keep booting up your Switch. It's only been two weeks, and I can't imagine my Switch without Pac-Man 99 installed.
Despite the steep learning curve and the hubbub about single-player paywalls, the pure enjoyment of every new Pac-Man 99 game stands tall above all. Whether you are itching for one short session or a marathon of close calls and satisfactory victory, this battle royale cannot come recommended enough.
PAC-MAN 99 may seem initially daunting with mechanics it simply doesn't explain but once you experiment and learn by fire, it won't take long to realise its true potential. Arika and Bandai Namco has barely touched the formula of this 41-year-old classic, and yet with just a few new layers it feels like a brand new game. We've invested more time than we care to admit into the previous '99' entries and it's clear PAC-MAN 99 is destined for evergreen greatness.
The bloodshot, eye-widening surprise may not be as extreme here, but Pac-Man 99 is just as tense a competitive prospect its Tetris counterpart was in 2019.
On the Nintendo eShop you can buy cosmetic changes to the stage and backgrounds, but you can also unlock the 3 other modes. CPU Battle – Compete against 98 CPU players. Score Attack – Beat the high score. Blind Attack – Clear the stage before time runs out. Extra content but not worth it unless you really want those modes. Price depends on your region.