My father worked as an arcade game and pinball technician when I was a kid, and it was the best job I could have ever imagined. Traveling through Polish seaside communities in search of seasonal arcades meant free games, peeping inside cabinets to discover programming and technical secrets—all in the course of a summer’s work.
PAC-MAN was one of my all-time favorite video games, and its appeal cut beyond national boundaries at the time. At a time when space shooters were all the rage, Tru Iwatani’s creation stood out as one of the first games designed to appeal to a wider audience, thanks to its cute story about a pizza-shaped character gobbling up dots in a maze, its colorful (literally!) characters, its friendly design, its minimal violence, and its never-ending enjoyment.
For PAC-30th MAN’s birthday, we’ve created the first-ever playable Google doodle in honor of the iconic video game character. In order to play this game, you must visit google.com for the next 48 hours and either press the “Insert Coin” button or wait for a few seconds to see what happens.
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When I collaborated with Google doodler Ryan Germick on this reimagining of PAC-MAN, we included the original game logic, images, and noises as well as the ghosts’ individual personalities. You can also play Ms. PAC-MAN with a friend by tossing in a second coin, which activates the “Easter Egg” (PAC-MAN is controlled with arrow keys or by clicking on the maze, Ms. PAC-MAN uses the WASD keys).
It would make sense for PAC-MAN to be featured on the homepage of Google. Both of them appear to be quite simple on the surface, but a closer examination reveals that they are actually quite complicated.
>J-Decker, Knight's & Magic, Mazinkaiser (INFINITISM), SSSS.Gridman & Hakai-Oh ~GaoGaiGar debuting in SRW 30
>Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger & Pac-man debuting in SRW DD
Great ways to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the SRW franchise👍 pic.twitter.com/jWEIWzmcZE
— SSSSRW.D180223 #SRW (@180223) July 11, 2021
Both of them have a human quality that comes across as humorous at times. In addition, we can only hope that utilizing Google is at least a fraction as pleasurable for you as consuming dots and pursuing ghosts. You are aware that there is no requirement for actual quarters.