Souped-up Pac Has Snack Attack

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's, uh ... Super Pac-Man?  That's what Bally Midway has dubbed its sequel to a sequel video game.

"It's different, but the same," Midway's Jim Jarocki tries to explain.  "It's more different than the difference between Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man."

Pac-Man purists, take

heart.  Your favorite video creature still gobbles energy dots, and the ghosts still turn blue and vulnerable when he does.   There's only one maze, albeit a new one.  But that's where the similarities to Pac's predecessors end.  Instead of a diet of run-of-the-maze dots, Pac-Man now feasts on an assortment of munchies, including fried eggs, corn-on-the-cob, hamburgers, mushrooms, cake and an occasional tennis shoe.  Each screen caters to a different craving.

Getting at the goodies in

no easy task.  Certain areas of the maze have pink "doors" blocking valuable foods that can only be opened by eating a nearby key or by taking another route.  Also, there's a times challenge round, patterned after the same feature in Midway's popular Galaga.  The "challenge" is to eat everything on the screen in the shortest amount of time, while Inky and the boys take a breather.

Finally, to double your velocity, simply press the rapid-speed button-as in Midway's Tron.  But first

Pac-Man has to be "super."   Just gobble the two "super pellets" and watch our mild-mannered yellow man transform into Super Pac-Man, a behemoth so large his jaws flop over the sides of the maze.  Not only can Super Pac crash through the pink doors and move twice as fast as his alter ego, he can actually pass through the ghosts.

But will the public "eat up" Pac-Man's latest incarnation?  They better.   After all, what could be left?  Donkey Pac-Kong Jr.?

-Andrea Stone

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