Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures review – a better than expected tie-in

Ghostly Circle

Intriguingly, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is better than might be expected for a tie-in game spun from the remorselessly contrived cartoon reboot of an arcade classic, but sadly that also leaves lots of room for it to be not very good at all. And it isn't, although there is at least a snappy joy to its basic platforming.

The camera is unobtrusive, motion is smooth, and Pac-Man's ghost-snatching gobble – adapted into this 3D world as a dog-like lunge – is sharp and satisfyingly direct. There's also a clean, kinetic pleasure to his transformative powers, a joyful simplicity to throwing ice and fire attacks at enemies and a pleasing sense of momentum to swinging acrobatics using his chameleon's tongue.

None of which solves the basic problem that by ripping Pac-Man from anything resembling his original gameplay context and giving him arms, legs and attitude, Ghostly Adventures places his accrued brand value over what made him fun to play with in the first place, leaving the game simple and, overwhelmingly, hollow.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Nathan Ditum, for The Observer on Sunday 9th March 2014 00.05 Europe/London

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