It's been 40 years since the beloved
PAC-MAN game was introduced to the world.
Let's take a look back on PAC-MAN's history.
We'll go through 30 years of PAC-MAN in chronological order.
On the left are PAC-MAN events and happenings, and on the right you can find various games dedicated to PAC-MAN.
You can click on the game title on the right for more details.
- ●On May 22, the first focus test was
held for PAC-MAN.
The game is released to the Japanese
public in July.
- Planning - Toru Iwatani / Sound - Toshio Kai /
Programming - Shigeo Funaki
- ●PAC-MAN takeover event at Shinjuku ALTA
- On June 29, 1980, before PAC-MAN was released to the public, the PAC-MAN's game screen appears on Shinjuku ALTA's large-screen television monitor. The concept of advertising video games back then was rather rare, so the sudden appearance of the game screen took many there by surprise.
- ●US Release→MEGA HIT!
- A major hit in the United States!
The game comes to the United States in October of the same year.
Soon after, PAC-MAN takes the world by storm.
In 1 year, more than 100,000 units are sold.
- ●GAME&WATCH Releases in Japan
King & Balloon
A shooting game where you protect the King from the attacking Balloons.
A shooting game designed with a Dual Fighter and bonus stage system.
- ●MS. PAC-MAN a huge hit
- MS. PAC-MAN's release is welcomed with open arms as it takes the US by storm, even beyond PAC-MAN.
- ●Cartoon broadcast in the United States
- The Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. produced cartoon begins its prime time broadcast on ABC television network channels, achieving viewership ratings as high as 56%.
- ●PAC-MAN FEVER
- Buckner & Garcia releases the hit single "PAC-MAN Fever," which went as high as 9th place on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, while the record album went on to place as high as 24th in the music charts.
A strategic action game where the player digs through the ground to find and defeat enemies.
- SUPER PAC-MAN is born in Japan as the next PAC-MAN game. Instead of eating PAC-DOTS, PAC-MAN moved through the maze to munch on various fruits, while avoiding the ghosts. Consuming a Super Power Pellet transformed PAC-MAN into the invincible, Super PAC-MAN. The game is also the first to feature the series cameo bonus stage.
- ●"Mickey Mouse" of the 80s
- PAC-MAN became so popular in the US that fans related to PAC-MAN as being the "Mickey Mouse of the 80s."
- ●Family Computer Releases in Japan
An extremely popular shooting game that opened the doors to innovation for many video games to come.
- The game is played by eating all the fruits on the stage, while avoiding the ghosts. The game introduces a new character, "Mil." The playful Mil moves around the screen to move the fruits away from PAC-MAN. The game is unique in that it doesn't have any Power Pellets. In turn, PAC-MAN can retaliate by eating special powerup items such as the Boss Galaxian and Rally X icons.
The Tower of Druaga
An action role-playing game where players solved various mysteries to get to the top of the tower.
- The game marks the series first side-scrolling action platformer where PAC-MAN goes on a journey to help a lost fairy get back to Fairyland, while avoiding enemy ghosts and obstacles. The cute and lively animations brought life to the characters, bringing about a new frontier to the PAC-MAN series with a hint of hidden secrets strewn throughout the rounds. The game's tagline in Japanese was "wonders around every corner."
A side-scrolling action game where the player battles dragons to save the princess.
A shooting game where the hero transformed into a dragon battles an evil demon king.
- The game reintroduces the basic mechanics that made the first PAC-MAN great - moving around a maze eating PAC-DOTS while avoiding the ghosts. What takes the game apart is that the characters and the mazes are displayed in 3D. This introduced new game features such as PAC-MAN being able to jump over the ghosts instead of simply running from them. With new types of ghosts and a variety of stages, the game thrilled players throughout the world.
A shooting game where the player rides a large-sized arcade cabinet to control the battle helicopter, Metal Hawk.
- ●Pop Art Debut
- In homage to the pop art great, Andy Warhol, his then studio Art Director and Master Printmaker, Rupert Jasen Smith, creates a PAC-MAN inspired pop art themed after Japan.
In October, within the same year, his masterpiece was displayed at the Japan Project Announcement Commemoration Party, which was held at The Okura Tokyo.
- ●Game Boy Releases in Japan
Valkyrie No Densetsu
An action game where the popular character, Valkyrie, goes about on her adventure using her sword and magic.
- ●SUPER Famicom Releases in Japan
- ●Neo Geo Releases in Japan
- ●Game Gear Releases in Japan
A large-scale 3D shooting game made for placement at amusement and theme parks.
- ●Sega Saturn Releases in Japan
A polygonal 3D fighting game where players controlled a unique cast of characters to face other players in battle.
- A unique action game where the player doesn't directly control PAC-MAN. Instead, the player uses items such as a slingshot and Power Pellets to influence PAC-MAN to clear various stages. Each stage holds a number of puzzle elements that requires planned use of various gimmicks. Watch as PAC-MAN goes through his various mood spurts ranging from being happy to being angry as he clears the stages.
- The very first puzzle game to enter the PAC-MAN series. The game's objective is to prevent the falling blocks from stacking to the top of the screen by placing them in rows for them to disappear. Ghosts also fall from the top, which can't be removed without the help of PAC-MAN who can gobble the ghosts getting in the way.
- ●Virtual Boy Releases in Japan
Tales of Phantasia
The commemorative 1st release of the uber popular "Tales of" RPG series.
- The Ghost Witch (Abylusnetter in Japanese) casts a spell on PAC-MAN sending him back in time. The game's objective is for PAC-MAN to return to the present by adventuring through more than 50 different stages ranging from mountains, forests, temples, castles, and more, while using actions such as jumping and swimming in this side-scrolling platformer game.
- ●Nintendo64 Releases in Japan
- ●Game Boy Pocket Releases in Japan
A weapon wielding fighting game where the story centers around the legendary sword, Soul Edge.
- The latest of the arcade games since PAC-MANia's release in 1987. The game can be played in the classic compilation, "Namco Classic Collection Vol.2," which was released by then Namco. The basic PAC-MAN rules applies where you control PAC-MAN to eat the PAC-DOTS, while avoiding the ghosts as you navigate through the maze. New to the series are Jump Panels, Dash Arrows, 3 different types of Power Pellets, and the addition of items, such as Capsules, Magic Wands, and more. The game, for the first time within the series, allowed up to 2-player onscreen game play.
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
A side-scrolling action game featuring the game's hero, Klonoa the "Dream Traveler."
- ●Racing Game Debut
- PAC-MAN makes his grand entrance to the PlayStation game, "R4 -RIDGE RACER TYPE 4-," under his race team, "Pac Racing Club (PRC)." The PAC-MAN motif racing machine garnered the attention of many game players around the world.
- ●Dreamcast Releases in Japan
- ●Game Boy Color Releases in Japan
A successor to the popular Soul Edge game where players controls weapon wielding characters in competition against other players.
- ●The World's First Perfect Score!
- Billy Mitchell of Florida becomes the first person to ever achieve the game's perfect score of 3,333,360 points. In order to achieve a perfect score, the player would have to clear all 256 stages without a single miss, and consume all PAC-DOTS, fruits, and ghosts (consume 4 ghosts with each Power Pellet).
- ●WonderSwan Releases in Japan
- ●Pocket Station Releases in Japan
- ●Neo Geo Pocket Color Releases in Japan
A puzzle action game where the player controls a cute character to dig through the stage to the very bottom.
- The series first, 3D action game that was released in commemoration of PAC-MAN's 20th anniversary. PAC-MAN embarks on an adventure through unique stages, from pirate ships to ancient ruins to outer space and more, as he tries to save his captured friends. The game is chock filled with old and new actions, such as jumping, bounding, using trampolines, doing speed turns, hip attacks, and more.
- ●Racing Game Reappearance!
- PAC-MAN takes stage again in the PlayStation 2 release, "Ridge Racer V," where he joins the race with his 4 ghost motif racing machines, "PAC-MAN," "AKABEI," "AOSUKE," "PINKY," and "GUZUTA" ("PAC-MAN," "Blinky," "Inky," "Pinky," and "Clyde" respectively).
- ●PlayStation 2 Releases in Japan
- A 3D action game where the player navigates the pink-ribbon topped Ms. PAC-MAN through various mazes as she tries to regain peace in Pac Land. Mazes are cleared by avoiding ghosts and eating PAC-DOTS, while solving puzzles strewn throughout the mazes. Over 180 unique mazes await as she tries to save the princess in need.
- ●Nintendo Gamecube Releases in Japan
- ●Xbox Releases in Japan
- ●Pokémon Mini Releases in Japan
- ●Game Boy Advance Releases in Japan
Taiko Drum Master
A rhythm game featuring a Japanese drum used to play along with various music pieces.
Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht
A large-scale RPG based in a futuristic world where thousands of years has passed. The first game release to the Xenosaga trilogy.
- A 4-game compilation of popular classic PAC-MAN games featuring "PAC-MAN," "PAC MANIA," "PAC ATTACK," and "PAC-MAN ARRANGEMENT."
- This is a 3D action game that follows "PAC-MAN World 20th Anniversary". PAC-MAN goes on an adventure to reclaim the five "golden fruits" hidden by the mischievous ghosts. There are various stages in PAC Land, where the familiar ghosts hinder his way and where also, a huge machine appears! On the underwater stage, there is a scene where PAC-MAN gets on the submarine "PAC Marine" and fights against the ghost's submarine.
- ●Guinness Approved!
- In recognition of PAC-MAN's 1980 release where it installed 293,822 arcade units within 7 years, the Guinness World Records acknowledged the game as the "Most Successful Coin-Operated Game" in the world.
- ●Book Release
- Enterbrain publishes the book "PAC-MAN No Game Gaku Nyumon" written by the developer himself, Toru Iwatani.
- ●Xbox 360 Releases in Japan
A raising simulation game where the player produces idol candidates to become top idols.
It is an arranged version of "PAC-MAN" and is included in the PlayStation Portable software "NAMCO MUSEUM”. Various gimmicks are added to the stage while keeping the basic rules.
At the final stage of each world, the ghosts power up and plays one-on-one with PAC-MAN. It is also possible for two players to play cooperatively at the same time.
A novel and unique game, characteristic of Nintendo DS, where you can draw a PAC-MAN picture with a touch pen and the picture will start moving on the screen. The player has to draw PAC-MAN to defeats the ghost.
Items that assist PAC-MAN, such as arrows and bombs, will also start moving when the player draws them. It is a new type of game in which all operations are performed with a touch pen.
- This is the story when PAC-MAN was a boy. PAC-MAN, who has been made into a sphere by the mysterious ray of Rock'n Roller Ghost, "Golvis", embarks on an adventure journey to help his friends. This is a very unique game where you can control the rolling PAC-MAN with the touch pen.
- ●PAC-MAN Defense
- The word, "PAC-MAN defense," buzzes from the Livedoor acquisition attempt of Fuji Television.
*"PAC-MAN defense" is a terminology that defines a defensive strategy where a targeted company tries to acquire the buyer.
- ●PlayStation 3 Releases in Japan
- ●Wii Releases in Japan
- ●Nintendo DS Lite Releases in Japan
Ridge Racer 7
A high-vision 3D racing game that was released at launch with the PlayStation 3 console.
- This is a game with more stages added, based on the "PAC-MAN ARRANGE" recorded in "Namco Museum Vol.2". In an ad hoc competition up to 4 players can play at the same time, competing for the number of cookies eaten.
- The Xbox 360 PAC-MAN World Championship tournament is held in New York. The winner was Mexico's representative, Carlos Romero. USA representative, Billy Mitchell, who scored the first perfect score in 1999, came out in 8th place.
- ●Hideki Matsui's Nickname
- New York Yankees player, Hideki Matsui, was given the nickname "PAC-MAN" by then manager, Joe Torre.
Ace Combat 6 - Kaihou He No Senka (Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation)
A flight simulation game with full online multiplayer features.
- A new type of PAC-MAN that was developed and supervised by PAC-MAN's father, the legend himself, Toru Iwatani. The game focuses on challenging players in time trials to see who can gain the highest score within a set time limit. The game features cool music, updated visuals, and reflex testing speed throughout the game. Player scores are uploaded via the Internet and pitted against competitors worldwide to see who has the highest score in the world.
- It is a battle-type game played by connecting one Game Boy Advance and 1 to 3 Game Cube controllers to the Nintendo Game Cube. One player becomes PAC-MAN and the other(s) become the ghost and the chase begins! If PAC-MAN is caught by a ghost, the person that caught him will become PAC-MAN in the next round. The first person to reach the clear score wins.
This is a game based in “Motos” announced in 1985 (recorded in the “Namco Museum Remix”, known in Japan as “Let's Play Together! Namco Carnival”), with the characters changed to PAC-MAN.
You can clear it by hitting PAC-MAN against the enemies on the stage and dropping them all! On the boss stage, you can fight against the boss by making full use of body hits and special actions.
- The game is a Wii remix version of the 2005 Nintendo DS release, "Pac 'n Roll" game. Players roll PAC-MAN throughout the stage to eat the PAC-DOTS found in various areas, while avoiding enemy ghosts. Players transform PAC-MAN into different forms to use various abilities by using the new Chocolate powerup item.
- ●Professional Boxer, "PAC-MAN"
- Philippines iconic hero, Manny Pacquiao, also known by the nickname "PAC-MAN," comes out victorious against the US's popular boxer, Oscar De La Hoya. The fight records an astounding 98% viewership rating in Manny Pacquiao's homeland.
- ●Nintendo DSi Releases in Japan
A weapon wielding fighting game revolving around the evil sword, Soul Edge, and the spirit sword, Soul Calibur.
- Speed Run to the Perfect Score!
David Race of Ohio achieves the fastest perfect speed run of 3-hours 41-minutes 22-seconds.
- ●PlayStation Portable Go Releases in Japan
The series reaches a pinnacle character roster of 40 characters.
- The game app was released in 2009 on iTunes Store for the Apple iPhone. The player controls PAC-MAN through 3D stages to eat the PAC-DOTS, while avoiding ghosts to clear each unique stage. The stages also featured various gimmicks, such as opening and closing doors, dash tiles, warps, and more.