Ms Pac-Man: Maze Madness (Dreamcast) Review

Ms Pac-Man: Maze Madness has the dubious distinction of being one of the few games I’ve actively stolen. Along with Typing of the Dead and Virtua Tennis 2, I snagged MPMM by sneaking into a thrift store after hours. Not being a Hindu, I wasn’t concerned with any loss of Karma at the time, but it occurs to me now that other deities may have programs in place that serve the same ends. If this is true, it really wasn’t worth it, since it’s not really my type of game. It’s certainly not a stinker though, and unlike the Pac-Man World series, Maze Madness is at least true to it’s maze-running, dot-chomping roots.

The game is essentially a puzzler, with blocks to push and switches to activate, and the Pac-manicure more or less just means you’ll be avoiding ghosts while you perform these familiar tasks. It’s not a bad fit for the license, but you certainly couldn’t accuse Maze Madness of pushing the envelope – as a puzzler or a Pac-man game. It would probably have a hard enough time just pushing the stamp.

Excitement of any kind is out of the question, as is challenge, but there’s a mellow sort of relaxed fun to be had for those of us capable of turning off the parts of the brain that control things other than vision and thumb movement. It’s about on par with playing Solitaire, or even a really easy Sudoku or Picross puzzle, but anyone familiar with those games knows how much mindless, mouth-breathing contentment can be derived from them.

I’m afraid I’m damning the game with faint praise, but the truth is that I beat the final few levels, including most of the bonus stages, when I was stumbling, cross-eyed drunk – and I still had about fifty spare lives. An easy game isn’t such a terrible thing, and a few of the puzzles did take me a minute to figure out, but the fact remains that it felt like I was just going through the paces. Pleasant, comfortable paces, mind you, but routine ones. Never at any point did I feel even a glimmer of the stress and panic that made the original Pac-Man games so captivating, nor the anger and frustration that make puzzle games satisfying. If a game devoid of anger, stress, frustration and panic doesn’t sound too bad, that’s because it isn’t. I enjoyed my time with the unwed Pac-Woman, derivative though her adventure may be, and since the game can be finished comfortably in a weekend, it’s perfect for those times when you just want to “play through” a video game, rather than “beating” one.

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~ by Krooze L-Roy on January 29, 2009.

3 Responses to “Ms Pac-Man: Maze Madness (Dreamcast) Review”

  1. whooo big man snuck a game out. shit i got three gs out of a dollar store in broad daylight with nothing but a boxcutter, groucho marx glasses, and a nose full of crank. you aint shit boy grow some damn stones

  2. Man, I don’t think Groucho glasses have been sold for a couple decades now. When the hell did you do all this, 1977?

  3. Groucho glasses are still for sale, Krooze. YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!!!!!!!!!!1111

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