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.
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.