Pac-Man 256 turns historical glitch into endless runner

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It seems to be a Pac-Man year this year. The bright yellow chomper celebrated his 35th anniversary last May, which brought along some new features for the mobile port of the game. Then in June, the game was finally and rightfullyinducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame. Let’s not forget about that almost Pac-Man inspired space junk eating satellite idea. Though we’re willing to forget a certain film this month. Today, a new Pac-Man joins the mobile club with Pac-Man 256 giving a playful twist to an ancient bug.

The infamous “level 256 glitch” was a bug that plagued the original arcade version of the Pac-Man game, due to both hardware limitation and programming error. As the name implies, it’s a bug that happens when you reach level 256. The original game used only a single byte or 8 bits to store the level number. As such, it can really only represent 0 to 255. Of course, players start at level 1 but once they get past level 256, the counter wraps around to level 0, a level the game wasn’t designed to handle. It caused glitches in graphics and gameplay that, in essence, made that level and the game unbeatable.

Pac-Man 256 turns historical glitch into endless runner

Crossy Road’s developers took that historical fact, turned it on its head, and turned it into an adrenaline pumping game. This time, the maze extends infinitely into the beyond. And this time, it is the Glitch, those random assortment of colored letters, numbers, and symbols, that is trying to catch Pac-Man. As if that wasn’t enough, ol’ Pac still has to deal with the usual ghosts hot on his trail.

Don’t worry, Pac-Man won’t be going down that easily. Aside from the usual pellets that give him uber chomping powers, there also new power ups that that are making their way for the first time into the Pac-Man universe. That includes a deadly laser that will incinerate everything in Pac’s path.

The game is free to play on Android and iOS but, as you might have already guessed, has in-app purchases. In particular, you have a limited number times you can play each day, called credits, which are consumed when you die but get refilled over time. Or you can pay $5.99 to remove that limitation.

 

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