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Video Game / Pac-Man Party

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There ain't no party like a Pac-Man Party!

Pac-Man Party is a multiplayer video game released for the Wii in 2010. The game serves as a celebration of the Pac-Man franchise’s 30th anniversary. A port for the Nintendo 3DS, Pac-Man Party 3D, was released the following year.

One day, Pac-Man receives a letter from the manager of the Pac-Cookie Factory, Mr. Cookie, informing him that a thief is planning to steal his recipe to his latest batch of Power Cookies, and that he’s entrusting the recipe to Pac-Man. Shortly after reading the letter, the Ghost Gang show up and steal the recipe. Pac-Man must follow the ghosts on a chase through various locations to get the recipe back, making some new friends along the way.

The game is a combination of a Minigame Game and a digital board game, similar to the Mario Party series. Up to four players are tasked with collecting a prerequisite number of cookies to win the game. Cookies can be slowly earned by moving along the board, and when a player loops back to the Cookie Factory at the start space, they earn greater Cookie rewards. When players land on empty spaces, they can take ownership of them by building castles on them. By landing on castles owned by their opponents, players can initiate minigame battles for a chance to steal the castles for themselves, but if the castle owner wins, they get to steal cookies from the player who initiated the battle. This gameplay loop continues until one player reaches the prerequisite number of cookies and returns to the Cookie Factory.

This game marked the debut appearance of some updated character designs for Pac-Man and the classic Ghost Gang. Modified versions of these new designs would later serve as the basis for their appearance in the Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures reboot series. Additional characters make their debuts in this game, though they would not go on to become recurring characters in most future Pac-Man games.

This game provides examples of:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The penalty for losing mini-games while in Attack mode goes up as the player's castles get bigger. Landing on a castle at the minimum size of one space and losing a minigame causes the attacking player to lose 400 cookies, which goes up to 800 at two spaces, 1200 at three, 1800 at four, and 2500 at five.
  • All Webbed Up: In the boss fight with Idmon the giant spider, he has captured a flock of butterflies in his web and tied them down. Players run around the top of the web to free them in order to score points. Once they are all free, he will capture them again, and the cycle repeats until the butterflies deal enough damage to him.
  • Art Evolution: This is the first game to give Pac-Man blue eyes and more detailed shoes.
  • Ash Face: Any players who loses in Frantic Furnace gets launched into the fiery furnace and comes out covered in soot.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: Oasis or Bust is a minigame where the player characters are turned into balls and have to make their way through a desert while the screen slowly moves to the right, while collecting fruit to score points. A tornado follows the players from the right side of the screen and causes the players to lose points if they fall in.
  • Balloonacy: The mini-game Pop 'N Balloons has the characters being attached to 30 balloons each, which lift them up into the air. The goal is to shoot all of the opponents' balloons to make them fall, and be the last player standing.
  • Battle in the Rain: Once Captain Tentacle appears on Greenwood Grove, he brings with him a massive rainstorm that floods entire sections of the map. The rain continues into his boss fight, where the players must use canoes in order to navigate the floodwaters.
  • Be the Ball: Certain minigames have each character change shape into a ball. Many of these minigames involve the now round characters rolling or bouncing around.
    • Snowball Sumo has the ball-shaped characters rolling around in thick snow to grow into as big of a snowball as possible. The player who grows the largest one wins, but they can also try to eliminate their rivals from the competition completely by bumping them off the edge of the mountain summit.
    • In Pac-Golf, the players are sent flying by a massive golf club toward the hole, and the winner is the first player to land in the hole. During the flight, the players can bump each other to try and push their rivals away. Once they land, if no one lands in the hole, they must roll themselves into it before anyone else does.
  • Berserk Button: You know that teddy bear in World 5? He's the boss of the world, who becomes angry and is revealed to be a killer robot after you steal all of his jellybeans.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Spooky Hallow is a board located in the ghosts' home, and is a halloween-themed area taking place at night, decorated with haunted houses and pumpkins.
  • Big Eater: Naturally, since this is a Pac-Man game, certain minigames give all players a chance to eat lots of food.
    • Food Shuffle has all players seated around a rotating table with plates of food that appear throughout the minigame. Players must press the A button when the plates are in front of their character to score points, but there are also plates with bombs that explode on any characters that try to eat them. The player who eats the most is the winner.
    • In Chocolate Chompers, characters compete to eat more chocolate balls than anyone else, each one being roughly the size of a character.
    • In Candy Crash, the players stand in front of a giant plate covered in a pile of different sweet treats that are bigger than the characters themselves. Players take turns picking an item off the plate to eat it to score points.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: One of the playable characters is a yeti named Woofa, whom Pac-Man and the ghosts meet in the snowy Crystal Cliffs.
  • Birthday Beginning: Inverted— the story ends with the revelation that it's Pac-Man's birthday.
  • Boss Battle: One in each world, activated by passing by a certain area a certain number of times.
  • Cartoon Bomb: Explosives shaped like black cannonballs with a fuse appear in certain minigames. They are usually hazardous and should be avoided.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Various elements throughout the game such as castle spaces and pointers are colored to match the character that they represent. Yellow for Pac-Man, red for Blinky, pink for Pinky, cyan for Inky, orange for Clyde, purple for Patra, green for Roger, and blue for Woofa.
  • Company Cross References:
    • One minigame is called Pooka Pop, and features an appearance from the Pooka enemy from Dig Dug. Much like its home game, the mini-game involves pumping Pooka with air like a balloon.
    • Towards the end of the Haunted Pumpkins mini-game, the pumpkins will fly around in a formation almost identical to that of the enemies from Galaga.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The Mirage Oasis and Crystal Cliffs boards are not included in the 3DS version of the game, limiting the number of boards from five to three. Since the Story mode only lasts for three boards, the story is abridged, as Patra and Woofa's introductory boards were removed, so they are instead respectively introduced in Spooky Hallow and Celebration Ave, with Woofa being introduced at the same time as Roger.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: The minigame Crazy Conveyor takes place atop a conveyor belt leading directly into a trash compactor. The players have to jump over various kinds of junk in order to avoid falling into the compactor, all while the conveyor belt gradually gets faster.
  • Covered in Gunge: At the end of the Gummy Catapults minigame, the winner will launch themselves into the top of the giant cake, where they get covered in frosting.
  • Disney Villain Death: After Idmon is defeated during his boss fight, the web that the fight took place in collapses, and Idmon falls offscreen into the lava lake below. The players nearly follow him, but are rescued by the butterflies they saved during the fight.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: The game gave the four ghosts more distinct appearances in order to differentiate them.
  • Embedded Precursor: The original Pac-Man arcade game is included as a bonus mini-game in the menu, along with Galaga and Dig Dug.
  • Fishing Minigame: Master Angler. The players are fishing in a lake, and the goal is to reel in the biggest fish. The winner is determined by who pulls their rod up fastest when the fish bite, but pulling the rod up before they bite results in an instant loss.
  • Forgot Their Own Birthday: The story mode takes place on Pac-Man's birthday, something he doesn't realize until the other characters remind him at the very end.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Woofa's unlockable bio in the Rewards section describes him as being loved by animals.
  • Giant Spider: Arachne and Idmon, the bosses of Mirage Oasis and Spooky Hallow respectively.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Pac-Man plays a variety of party games along with Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde, the four ghosts who are usually his enemies.
  • Green Hill Zone: The first board of the game is Greenwood Grove, an open, grassy meadow with windmills and farms.
  • Height Angst: Blinky's unlockable bio in the Rewards section states that he doesn't like being called short.
  • Herding Mission: In Chick Magnet, each player has to gather baby chicks that hatch from eggs and guide them over to their pen in order to score points. They must do this while avoiding a giant rooster that runs around the field and tries to squish the players.
  • Human Cannonball:
    • In Cannon Jump, the players jump into a series of cannons placed atop some castle walls. Each cannon will launch players to a different location, and the first player to find the way up to the top of the highest castle tower is the winner.
    • Doughnut Holes is a mini-game where the player characters are fired out of cannons into balls of doughnut dough. The goal is to score points by making holes in as many doughnuts as possible.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: In Party mode, computer-controlled characters can have their difficulty set, from easiest to hardest, "Weak", "Normal", and "Strong".
  • Killer Teddy Bear: The giant teddy bear in Celebration Ave. doesn't initially seem dangerous, but once the players have eaten all of the jellybeans in front of it, it reveals itself to be a violent robot called Bearserk, who becomes the board's boss.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: this game has two octopi bosses you'll fight in this game, their names are Captain Tentacle, and Kraken.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Spooky Hallow features multiple pits of lava around its loop. Once the boss appears, lava will flood entire portions of the map.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: The boss fight with Kraken ends with him being frozen solid, before the players throw giant snowballs at him, causing him to shatter into pieces.
  • Macro Zone:
    • The Celebration Ave. board takes place atop a table inside a giant house, decorated with equally giant birthday decorations and presents.
    • Certain mini-games take place in giant versions of real-world locations. One example, Pac-Man Tea Party, takes place inside a giant kitchen sink, with the players floating around inside by riding in giant teacups.
  • MacGuffin: In Story Mode, Mr. Cookie tasks Pac-Man with protecting his prized cookie recipe, but it gets stolen by Blinky. It's up to Pac-Man to get it back.
  • Magic Feather: At the end of story mode, after the cookie recipe is revealed to be blank, Mr. Cookie explains that there was never a secret to making the world's best-tasting cookies.
    Mr. Cookie: The greatest-tasting cookies...
    Inky: Are the ones you earn for yourself...
    Pinky: And share with friends!
  • Marathon Level: Mirage Oasis is the longest board in the game. A single lap around the board takes 49 spaces, ten more than the second-longest board, Greenwood Grove.
  • Mascot with Attitude: Pac-Man himself, despite the fact that he looks too cheerful to be one.
  • Multiple Endings: Downplayed. Losing on the final board in Story Mode only adds a few lines of dialogue where Pac-Man thinks he lost the cookie recipe to the ghosts... until Mr. Cookie shows up regardless.
  • Mythology Gag: This game's version of Power-Pellets are called Power Cookies. Fans may recognize this as a Call-Back to when Power Pellets were called cookies in the original Japanese version of Puck Man.
  • Nice Day, Deadly Night: In Candy Bandits, the objective is to collect candy thrown from the windows of the surrounding buildings that bounces around. However, the time of day will periodically change to night, and when this happens, all of the candies will turn into nasty pumpkins that must be avoided, as any players that hit them will lose points.
  • Overlord Jr.: Arachne, the boss of the Mirage Oasis is the son of Idmon, the boss of the Spooky Hollow. It's not really brought up outside of the game's Reward section.
  • Pinball Zone: The Bumper Jumper mini-game has the players turn into balls and bounce around a series of bumpers to score points. Bonus points can be earned by collecting the fruits and jewels that appear as well.
  • Power-Up Food:
    • During minigames, players can use Power Cookies to increase their chances of winning. The benefits from using it can range from minor (using it in Idmon's boss fight gives the user a small point bonus) to an "I win" button (using it in Spaghetti Roll-Up provides a considerable boost to how fast the user can gather spaghetti).
    • Danger Dish has a mini-game specific example. Fruit pickups will appear on the dish that increase the size of whoever grabs it. Contact with an enlarged player is a very quick way to lose the mini-game.
  • Racing Minigame:
    • Water Bike Wipeout places the players on waterbikes, and challenges them to race to be the first to reach the end of a course made from lines of buoys floating in the sea. Each racer has a limited amount of fuel, which is used up when the accelerator is held down, and while the waterbikes are steered automatically, if a racer goes too fast around a corner, they will fall right off the track and lose time.
    • Pole Position has the players driving futuristic race cars down a halfpipe track with the goal of being the first to cross the finish line. There are cookies littered all over the track which racers can collect to gain speed boosts and overtake their rivals, but there are also electric barriers that slow down any racers that crash into them.
  • Rail Shooter: Haunted Pumpkins is a minigame where the players are guided through a haunted mansion while using the Wii Remote pointer to aim and shoot at floating pumpkins to score points. The player with the most points at the end wins.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The exact moment in which the teddy bear on Celebration Ave. becomes the rampaging machine Bearserk is when his normal looking eyes are suddenly replaced with glowing, red, mechanical ones.
  • Rhythm Game: Pac-Man Hustle is a dancing game where players score points by moving the Wii Remote in different ways with the correct timing.
  • Ring Out:
    • In Bumpin' Trapeze, the goal is to be the last player standing by pushing the other players and the rubber balls they stand atop over the edge of the platform. As the minigame goes on, bombs rain from the sky that take away tiles of the platform, giving the players less room to move around.
    • In Danger Dish, the players turn into balls and roll around atop a plate floating in a kitchen sink, and must bump into each other to push their opponents off the plate. Periodically, fruit items will appear that cause the player that eats them to grow much larger. If players of different sizes collide, the smaller player will be sent flying, leading to certain defeat.
    • Jiggling Gelatin has the players bouncing atop a giant plate of green gelatin, and the goal is to eliminate the other players by pushing them off.
    • In Pac-Pool, while the goal is to score the most points by collecting fruit, players can be immediately eliminated if they fall into any of the pockets on the billiard table.
    • Snowball Summit is a mini-game where the objective is to roll a larger snowball than anyone else, but if a player falls off the mountaintop, they will be immediately disqualified.
  • Rise to the Challenge: Sky Climbers is a platforming mini-game that takes place in an upwards Auto-Scrolling Level. Players have to jump up the cloud platforms to avoid falling offscreen until only one player remains.
  • Robotic Reveal: Celebration Ave. features what initially appears to be an ordinary giant teddy bear as a board event. Once the players eat all of his jellybeans, however, he reveals himself to be a violent, rampaging robot called Bearserk.
  • Secret Test of Character: At the end of Story mode, it is revealed that the cookie recipe that Blinky stole was blank, and that Mr. Cookie had Blinky steal the recipe to test Pac-Man's courage and determination.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Mirage Oasis is a board located in an Egypt-inspired desert with lots of pyramids.
  • Shooting Gallery: The minigame simply titled Siege features players taking aim at a castle, where targets appear all throughout. Players shoot the targets to score points, but they're so far away that they are difficult to see normally, so each player's aiming reticle also serves as a magnifying glass that zooms in on wherever it is pointed. Players must locate as many targets as possible and shoot more than their rivals to win.
  • Skippable Boss: Every boss appears on the board once the players have passed by a specific event space enough times, but since the goal of the game is to reach a certain number of cookies, it's possible to reach the target score and win the board before the boss shows up.
  • Snake Charmer: The Cobra Charmer minigame features the players playing a flute for giant cobras coming out of wicker baskets. The goal is to play the correct song faster than anyone else to make your cobra raise your character past the finish line before anyone else.
  • Snowball Fight: The boss fight with Kraken in the snowy Crystal Cliffs has the players attack him by throwing snowballs at him. With enough snowballs, his tentacles will be frozen solid before breaking off. Occasionally, he will counter by rolling a giant snowball toward the players that they can destroy with their own snowballs
  • Soda Can Shakeup: The minigame Bottle Rocket Blastoff has each character with a giant bottle of soda strapped to their back, and they are given ten seconds to shake it as much as they can. Once time runs out, the bottles are opened, and they use the bottles like jetpacks to launch themselves through the sky. The distance they fly is based on how much pressure they built up by shaking, and the player who flies the farthest wins.
  • Sphere Factor: The minigame Bumpin' Trapeze features each player standing atop a rubber ball on a raised platform in a circus tent. Players run around to roll their ball, and bump into the others to push them off the edge.
  • Squashed Flat: In the Chick Magnet minigame, players have to avoid getting trampled by the giant rooster, or else they will be temporarily flattened.
  • Thanking the Viewer: Upon completing the story mode, Pac-Man himself will thank the player for helping him throughout the game.
  • Toy Time: The fifth board, Celebration Ave., takes place atop a giant table covered in various toys and presents.
  • Twinkle in the Sky:
    • In Bottle Rocket Blastoff, the winning player disappears into the sky with a twinkle in their wake after they strike their victory pose.
    • At the end of the boss fight with Captain Tentacle, he attempts to fire his cannons at the players despite them being plugged with spears, which causes an explosion that sends him flying into the sky, with a twinkle once he's out of sight.
  • Underground Monkey: All of the bosses except for Bearserk, with Captain Tentacle and Kraken being two pirate octopi and Arachne and Idmon being two giant spiders.
  • The Unfought: In the 3DS version, Clyde is the only character who never appears as an opponent in Story mode.
  • The Voice: There are different events spaces like the mansion, the laboratory, and the fortune-teller that players can land on, but while the characters within talk to the characters, they are never seen.
  • Wolverine Claws: Once Bearserk's boss battle begins, his already blade-like claws extend even further, and he flails them around to attack.