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Puck-Man Sucks

Puck-Man The story behind the creation of Pac-Man is a well-known tale by now in certain social circles, particularly the detail that the game's name was originally Puck-Man before being changed to the familiar Pac-Man over fears of arcade vandalism.  Some early knock-off versions of the game continued to embrace the Puck-Man name, however.  Check out this version of the game for the Apple II computer and marvel at how much Puck-Man sucks (and yes, the screen is supposed to be on its side like that).

As with most games on the Apple without a joystick, A and Z move you up and down while the left and right arrow keys move you left and right. Pac-Man doesn't go "nwaka-nwaka," he goes "boop-a boop-a" for some reason. All the elements are there, including the cherry, but it feels very stripped down. It was possible to push the Apple further than this, because "Ms. Pac-Man" was pretty darn faithful. SHE said "nwaka-nwaka."

Who knew there were so many ways to turn Pac-Man into a horrible experience?  My elementary school was loaded with Apple II and Apple IIgs machines back in the day, and we had plenty of games and edutainment software, but there was a not a single copy of Pac-Man (or Puck-Man, thankfully) to be seen.  Why were we allowed the joys of Joust and Defender over Pac-Man?  Too many parents knew that Pac-Man was nothing but a wasteful game, but had never heard of the other titles on the shelf, so they were allowed under the assumption that if a certain piece of computer software is in a school setting, then it must be appropriate.  Don't you just loved flawed logic mixed with naivete?