If you were an 80s kid like me you couldn’t escape Pac-Man and his Pac-Family…and you didn’t want to. The game was fun, I enjoyed the Hanna-Barbera cartoon on ABC, and while I didn’t collect a ton of pac-merchandise I do have a picture album, some of of those wind-up walkers, and I used to have a t-shirt that actually came from Underoos if memory serves. Pac-Man and the ghosts (I still call them “ghost monsters” thanks to the cartoon) were easy to draw whether you were going with the in-game or out of game designs (the cabinet art but I mostly tried to go for the show’s design but in my then “can’t draw for spit” art style) so I did that a lot and sometimes still doodle the little guy now and then. It was the first video game to have a song playing on the radio–yes, “Pac-Man Fever” actually played on the radio, a move you wouldn’t see for what’s essentially a novelty song since novelty songs on the radio had died out in the 50s outside of shows like Dr. Demento’s program. Pac-Man was everywhere and joins the likes of He-Man and the Transformers as something that came from the 1980s and never truly went away.
Slopes Game Room chronicles the early history of the franchise, and while it doesn’t cover everything in this hour-long video it does go over all the various arcade games and drops some history on the game’s origins you may not have heard of before. I thought I had heard it all but there’s stuff I didn’t know until this video. Get ready for a lot of pac-trivia.
Catch more Slopes Game Room on his YouTube channel.
I didn’t see “part 1” since on YouTube it was covered by the video length indicator. I think he needs to place that better but as of this writing you see the left side would be covered by the “watch on YouTube” link even though the title at the top of the embed is itself a link to the video. So hopefully there will be a part two with the further history. After all, plenty of console games came out with the little guy in numerous genres, remakes, extensions, a playable “Google Doodle” I can’t seem to play on my phone because swiping as a Pac-Man control is a bit dodgy, and most recently a new game that inspired the second ever Pac-Man cartoon. Pac-Mania may have died down but it may never truly die.