Tag Archives | Pac-Man

Angry Birds vs. Pac-Man: Is it as Big of a Hit?

John Gruber, in his Talk Show podcast, says Angry Birds is the new Pac-Man.

Given how popular Angry Birds has become, and how it’s now part of popular culture, my first reaction is to agree. But Pac-Man is an icon that has endured for three decades, so we can’t take the comparison at face value. Let’s have some fun with the analogy and dig a little deeper.

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Subtle Jab? Google's Pac-Man Works on iPhone, iPad

The playable Pac-Man on Google’s home page looks like all fun and games, but it may be hiding a little dig at Apple.

Firing up Google.com in Safari on the iPad, I was delighted to see the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button replaced by “Insert Coin.” Sure enough, once the game started, I was able to move Pac-Man around the Google-branded maze with finger swipes. Sadly, the mobile version doesn’t let you play as Ms. Pac-Man by clicking the coin button twice — arguably the coolest feature of the PC-optimized version. It also has no sound.

CNet’s Dan Terdiman reports that Google built the Pac-Man clone with JavaScript, HTML and CSS. Those are the same three tools that Apple chief executive Steve Jobs cited as suitable open standards to replace Flash.

So, you can look at Google Pac-Man for iPhone two ways: The more benign explanation is that Google on some level agrees with Apple, and wanted to create a version of Pac-Man that was as widely accessible as possible and not as resource-intensive as Flash. I prefer to think that Google’s beating Apple at its own game by creating a version of Pac-Man that runs nicely on the iPhone without App Store approval.

It’s also possible that I’m reading into this way, way too much.

Still, I want to see more HTML5 HTML game development like this. There’s one other recent example, another Pac-Man derivative called Pie Guy. It also lacks sound, but it’s a start. With Google’s take on Pac-Man making waves through Twitter and the blogosphere, maybe more mobile game developers will start showing interest.


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Pac-Man is Thirty

Google is celebrating Pac-Man’s thirtieth birthday in the most appropriate manner imaginable.

(Me, I hope this sets a precedent and that they remember the thirtieth anniversary of Marble Madness, which is only four years away…)


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