When I was a teen, video game machines were the hottest thing going. Arcades sprang up everywhere and places like laundromats had multiple machines to keep kids busy. The laundromat was where my best pal Bet and I became totally addicted to Pac-Man. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we were power players who could go for hours on a single quarter. Back in those days, if someone wanted to go next on a machine, he or she would put down their quarter to mark their place in line. Back in my prime, those quarters stayed there all day. I was a hardcore gamer girl who used to take my shoes off before I played. I thought having a grip on the floor made me a better player.

Now, I can test that theory out for less than a quarter, thanks to a new app for Android and iPhone called Pac-Man 256. The game is named after Pac-Man’s infamous screen 256, where a glitch made the game unplayable. Pac-Man’s level counter was a single 8-bit byte and couldn’t actually count any higher than 255. The final board turned into gibberish.

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In this version the glitch is part of the game and you attempt to outrun it along with the familiar ghosts, including Sue, Funky, and Spunky.

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This is an endless runner type game, so you can pretty much play Pac-Man forever. (Or until you run out of credits.)

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While the game is free, you can make in-app purchases to gain more credit or spend $7.99 for unlimited credits. You can find Pac-Man 256 in Google Play store for your Android phone and in the App store for your iPhone.

A few months ago my friend and I visited a video game exhibit at the Toledo Museum of Art where they displayed art from various games and also had a Pac-Man game that you could play on a giant screen. My friend and I couldn’t wait to play, and as always, she wiped the level clean in no time. Some little kid said to his mom, “Wow! Those old ladies can sure play Pac-man!” Excuse this old lady while I slip off these shoes and get ready to eat some dots. Ghosts, you are going down!

~ Cynthia