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PAC-MAN 99 Retro Battle Royale at its best

PAC-MAN 99 is the newest addition for the Nintendo Switch Online service. In line with Tetris 99 and Super Mario Bros. 35, it’s free to download and play. Let’s gobble up some pixels and wokka wokka into the details.

PAC-MAN 99: The Battle Royale arena muncher

Eat your way to the top using speed, tactics and a feast of scared ghosts. Avoid Jammer Pac-Man and traverse the maze like a professional to claim the PAC-ONE Title.

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Way of the maze

While Super Mario Bros 35 had a unique interface, PAC-MAN 99 looks a lot like Tetris 99. Almost identical, really. Not that it’s a bad thing. Then again, what other way is there to showcase Retro Battle Royale games? It feels finished and is easy to navigate, just like in Tetris 99.
When you start a game it all feels familiar. The other 98 players on both sides of the arena, the selection of who to target. But wait, what’s this?

New additions in PAC-MAN 99

The Sleeper Ghosts

On both sides of the maze, you will see lines of grey ghosts. These sleeper ghosts are activated when you eat them and follow one of your ghosts around, creating a train of ghosts ready for you to gorge up. Furthermore, this also means that you will send more Jammer Pac-Man to your opponents when you eat a Power Pellet.

A train of ghost ready to be eaten so you can send Jammer Pac-Man to oponents
Image by Nintendo
Jammer Pac-man

Tetris 99 has the grey blocks that push your field ever upwards toward certain death. While PAC-MAN 99 has Jammer Pac-man. You send these to your opponents when eating ghosts in your maze. The point of Jammer Pac-Man is that they slow you and your opponents. Thus making it easier for the ghosts to catch you. Even more dangerous are red Jammer Pac-Man, these kill you on contact.
If you want to get rid of Jammer Pac-Man you can eat a Power Pellet. But for Red Jammer Pac-Man you need to eat a piece of fruit.

Mid battle with a scared ghost train and Jammer Pac-Man in the maze.
Image by Nintendo


In PAC-MAN 99 you can employ special tactics. This can be done by using your X, Y, B and A. Each of these tactics has it’s own advantages and penalties.


First off, we have Standard this is the basic tactic. It’s automatically on when you start your PAC-MAN 99 match and has no extra benefits or penalties.


The Second tactic is Stronger. Stronger makes the attacks you send to your opponents, well yes, stronger. You send out more Jammer Pac-Man with each ghost that you gobble up.
The downside is that your Power Pellet active time is shorter. Less time to clear your maze but more problems for your enemies.


The third tactic, Train, increases the number of ghosts that are added to the train after eating Sleeper Ghosts. However, this is a hard one, because for every extra ghost you gain a Jammer Pac-Man appears in your maze.


Last but not least, become the Flash and zippy zap across the maze with incredible speed. But send less Jammer Pac-Man when eating ghosts. A perfect defensive tactic.


It wouldn’t be free if they didn’t have at least one way to make money. Well, PAC-MAN 99 starts with DLC straight out of release. The Mode Unlock, that I can understand. If you really like it that much that you want to play vs CPU or have some private matches with friends. I get that.

Image by Nintendo

On the other hand, the option to purchase themes kinda worries me. Tetris 99 had you play events for themes. It felt great unlocking some themes that I really wanted. PAC-MAN 99 has themes for sale and I can only hope they add some events to give us players the option to win them. Then again it’s only skinned.

Winner Winner Pellet Dinner

PAC-MAN 99 is fun, tactical and about as gut-wrenching as any other Retro Battle Royale they released. Furthermore it’s free if you have Nintendo Switch Online and I do recommend picking it up.

Nintendo Switch Shop PAC-MAN 99

Stijn Ginneberge

Posts published: 131

Gaming for me is about experiencing their stories, overcoming challenges, living in fantasy worlds and exploring alien planets. You can also find me in the local game store or on an airsoft field.