Pac-Man 99 is one of those games that no one saw coming, no one really wanted, and yet, everyone is enjoying. Much like Tetris 99, the new spin on the battle royale genre with classic titles has proven a successful one for Nintendo.
Hopping into your first Pac-Man 99 can prove to be daunting. Despite the familiar setting, the challenge of outlasting 98 other players while they throw ghosts and plenty of other crazy shenanigans at you might make you slip faster than you think.
On top of this, you're presented with multiple options to change the tide of the game. Which is the best? What should you avoid doing?
Fret not, as we're here to help you get started with Pac-Man 99 and ease you through the game.
Pac-Man 99 - How to play
Before we dive into what the options do, let's give you a quick rundown of the basics of Pac-Man 99.
The first thing you need to know is how power pellets, ghosts, and fruits work. As per usual, in order to get rid of the ghosts you'll need to consume power pellets to make them edible. When you start eating ghosts white Pac-Men (and eventually red, more on that later) called Jammers will start popping on the board of the opponents you are currently targeting.
To reset the board once you run out of pellets, eat the fruit at the center of the stage. This will make the speed go up so don't abuse it.
Pac-Man 99 - What do white and red Jammer Pac-Men do?
Good question, here's the answer:
- White Pac-Men will slow you down if you go through them, making you more susceptible to ghost attacks.
- Red Pac-Men are an instant K.O. Self explanatory, avoid at all costs.
To get rid of the white ones, eat a power pellet, as it'll immediately wipe all those pesky Jammers.
For the red ones, you'll have to eat a fruit, meaning they're a little tougher to destroy, but not impossible.
Do note that red Jammers only pop when you reach Top 50. Players may spawn these depending on the number of badges (see below) you collect, but it's still undetermined.
Pac-Man 99 - How to target other players
For those playing undocked, you have the option to tap the screen and select a specific player you want to target. For the rest, you have a total of four options. This is what they do.
- Random: As the name suggests, the game will pick an opponent at random so you can send Jammers.
- Knockout: The game will target whoever's closest to being KO'd. How is this determined is yet unknown, but an educated guess would indicate it's by the number of Jammers the player has on the board.
- Counter: Targets all the players that are currently attacking you.
- Hunter: Targets the player with the most KO's in the game. We'll explain a bit more down below.
If you take a closer look at the highlighted portion of the picture above, you can notice the game tracks how many opponents you have KO'd in a match, with the box down below being reserved for the badges you've collected as a result.
Essentially, just like Tetris 99, the more badges you have, the more Jammers you'll be able to send once you eat ghosts. Leading the pack can put a target on your back so it's definitely a double-edged sword.
Pac-Man 99 - What do power ups do?
The left options are still a mystery to thousands of players. Luckily, people in the Pac-Man 99 subreddit (yes it's already a thing) have figured out what each of these options do:
All power settings only take effect after Pac-Man consumes a power pellet
- Faster: Doubles movement speed, but your attack output is reduced by 75%
- Train: Doubles every sleeping ghost you touch, but each one you touch will also spawn a Jammer Pac-Man.
- Stronger: Reduces power pellet time to three seconds, but allows for 2x Jammers to be sent after consuming ghosts. Speed is also permanently reduced by one level.
- Standard: Has no benefits or drawbacks.
Pac-Man 99 - How to win
To wrap this up, here are a few quick tips to lead you to victory:
- Don't eat ghosts as soon as they appear, wait until a bunch are lined up to unleash a more powerful attack.
- Do not attack Hunters early on. Go for either knockout if you've amassed a decent amount of ghosts or counterattack.
- Try to use Train for a faster ghost farm. Below Top 50 you won't spawn any red Jammers so it should be a worthy sacrifice.
- Faster can get you out of tough situations when you need that extra boost, however, we don't recommend you stick on this option too often.
There you have it! We hope this guide helps you on your way to becoming a Pac-Man god.
Pac-Man 99 is available to download for free on Nintendo Switch for those with an active Nintendo Online subscription. DLC with modes and skins is available for US$15.99.