Pac-Man World Re-Pac is a remake of PlayStation’s 3D platformer Pac-Man World by Namco before its merge with Bandai. Developed by Now Production, the remake, made from the ground up, includes updated visuals and quality-of-life changes but retains the same traditional gameplay from the original title. Whether you have or haven’t played the original game, you’re probably wondering whether Pac-Man World Re-Pac is worth it. Well, find out right here.
Like most other platformers from the late 90s and early 00s, Pac-Man World Re-Pac is relatively light on the storytelling, but it sees Pac-Man return home on his birthday to discover that the Ghosts and the evil Toc-Man have kidnapped his entire family and ruined his birthday party. To save them, Pac-Man embarks on a journey to Ghost Island to rescue them and stop Toc-Man.
The graphics have been greatly updated from the original release with revamped character designs, including the Pac family, Ghosts, and the game’s bosses. What’s more, many of the game’s regions have been redesigned with all levels completely redone for a more modern feel without deviating from the original game’s atmosphere or art direction.
Developed using the Unity engine, the remake supports 4K resolution at 60 frames-per-second on PC and PlayStation and Xbox consoles, while the Nintendo Switch version offers two visual modes; Resolution that runs at 1080p and 30 frames-per-second and Performance that runs at 720p and 60 frames-per-second. Although the game is playable in 30 frames-per-second, we felt the game offered an overall smoother experience at 60 frames-per-second, making it much easier to react to enemies and platforming segments.
The gameplay generally remains the same as the original game, albeit with some minor changes. Pac-Man World Re-Pac has three main gameplay modes; Quest, Mazes, and Classic. In Quest mode, you join Pac-Man in exploring six unique regions of Ghost Island with different themes; Pirate, Ruins, Space, Funhouse, Factory, and Mansion. Each region’s theme never overstays its welcome due to the few levels in each, but they’re all equally memorable, and you’ll find that the game’s difficulty increases as you progress, particularly in the final region.
Each region has several levels and a boss fight, along with one Pac-Man family member that can be saved (All must be saved to unlock the game’s best ending and to provide you with more health boosts during the final boss battle) by finding a key in the same or different level within the region.
As you platform across the game’s 23 main levels, you’ll face numerous enemies that can be taken out with Pac-Man’s butt bounce or by throwing collectable Pac-Dots and a charged Pac-Dot that can explode to deal more damage but use more Pac-Dots. However, there are some enemies, such as steel enemies, that can only be destroyed after consuming a Steel Ball. Likewise, the game’s Ghosts can only be defeated after consuming a Power Dot and transforming into a giant Pac-Man.
In addition to collecting Pac-Dots, you’ll also collect Fruit, which are used to open Fruit Doors that house letters spelling PACMAN, power-ups, switches, treasure chests, Galaxian Flagship symbols, and more. And there are also Medals, which provide you with spins of the Pac-Man slot machine at the end of each level through which you can acquire additional lives.
The Fruit acquired and the enemies defeated by Pac-Man are tallied to a final score for each level, which can be bolstered by collecting all PACMAN letter symbols to unlock a timed bonus round where Pac-Man must rush to collect Fruit. Meanwhile, Galaxian Flagship symbols unlock mazes that play like the original Pac-Man but with additional obstacles and designs based on the game’s various themed regions.
Pac-Man has an unlimited number of lives but has only four segments to his health. However, health and lives can be found throughout the level and in chests or by defeating enemies. Dying several times will also prompt the game to ask you whether you’d like to enable “Easy Mode” – also enabled during the Start Menu – that enables extended jumps for Pac-Man and fills in gaps with blocks so Pac-Man can’t fall to his death.
When it comes to bosses, most will have a puzzle mechanic to them requiring you to work out a way to defeat them, whether that’s to power up platforms to weaken the boss or to hit switches to trigger bounce pads to return a boss’ shot. The bosses aren’t difficult once you work out what to do, but younger players may require some help or input to defeat them.
Alongside the main quest mode, Pac-Man World Re-Pac also has a Maze mode, in which you can play a total of 36 maze stages. There are six stages for each area, some of which are unlocked by collecting the Galaxian Flagship symbol in the main levels, while the remainder are only unlocked once you’ve completed the main game. After completing all 36 mazes, you’ll unlock the marathon feature in which you play all mazes back to back.
What’s Different In The Remake?
In addition to revamping the majority of the game’s visuals and character designs, the remake also includes redesigned locations, and many of the levels have been completely redone. The remake also removes all spoken dialogue from the game in favour of gibberish with subtitles, and the game now offers two endings; one unlocked by failing to rescue all family members and the other unlocked by saving all family members.
Alongside the above, the remake includes several other differences, including a Story signpost on Ghost Island where you can watch cutscenes from the game. The remake also supports up to four save files while the original title only allowed for three, and, finally, many of Pac-Man’s family members have been renamed or replaced by new characters; Ms. Pac-Man is now Pac-Mom, Jr. Pac-Man is Pac-Boy, Baby Pac-Man is Pac-Sis, and Chomp-Chomp is Pac-Buddy.
How Long Is Pac-Man World Re-Pac?
Pac-Man World Re-Pac isn’t a long game. It took us just over six hours to complete the main quest mode while trying to pick up as many collectables within each level as possible. You can breeze through the campaign much faster, although we suggest you take your time to soak in each level’s atmosphere, particularly our favourite – the Mansion!
However, if you’re looking to unlock all achievements or trophies and acquire both endings, you can expect to spend up to ten hours doing so as you’ll need to find all collectables within each level and complete all mazes to grab the platinum. This can require multiple playthroughs depending on your skill and will bump up your overall playtime.
Should You Buy Pac-Man World Re-Pac?
Pac-Man World Re-Pac is worth the purchase if you’re someone who enjoyed the original game and wants to experience it all again, if you enjoy classic platforming games, or if you never played the PS1 Pac-Man World and would like to give it a go. However, if you’re someone who struggles or dislikes platforming, you’ll want to steer clear of the game, as platforming is its focus and the traditional maze-like Pac-Man gameplay takes a backseat.
The remake takes the original gameplay of Pac-Man World and revitalises it with improved visuals, performance, and quality of life changes, which help make the title more friendly for modern-day audiences. Since there’s a lack of heavy storytelling due to it primarily being a platformer, the gameplay is a huge focus for the game, and it gets it right.
Pac-Man World Re-Pac‘s gameplay is fun and never gets boring, partly due to the varied regional themes and unique enemies – some of which will require a little more thought into how to defeat them -, as well as the combination of Mazes and Bonus Rounds, and the numerous collectables that you’ll want to find for higher scores. Whether you’re bouncing between platforms, swimming in water, finding secret areas, racing clowns, smashing switches, destroying enemies, or powering lifts, the gameplay is varied enough to keep your interest piqued throughout.
Although the game is relatively short depending on how much of the collectables you want to find and whether or not the game’s mazes interest you, there’s enough here to keep completionists busy, and all for the cheaper price of an AAA game at £35/$30. Ultimately, Pac-Man World Re-Pac is well worth the purchase, particularly if you enjoy old-school platformers and want to relive the classic game with some improvements and better visuals and performance.
Pac-Man World Re-Pac is available today for PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch consoles, and for PC via Steam.