Play Pac-Man in your browser.

Yep. Get the fever. (Might require a non-MSIE browser, like Firefox or Chrome or Safari or Konqueror.)

It’s not just Pac-Man, either; the menu has Pac-Man, Ms Pac-Man, Crazy Otto, and Cookie Man.

Here is the source code and here is The Pac-Man Dossier, more information about Pac-Man than you ever imagined someone could collect.

Why do they never offer any instructions?

Also, whom are you playing against? Just some random person who’s visiting the same website?

In essence, eat dots and avoid ghosts for high score. Eating the fruit is good, so is eating the big dots that allow you to eat the ghosts as long as they’re blue and frightened of you.

(Out of curiosity, how old are you?)

Pac-Man is always played against the machine. Always has been, code willing always will be. In this case, the machine is your web browser, which is executing code delivered to it as part of the web page. This is, in part, a demonstration of the fact it’s now possible to recreate landmark 1980s [del]cultural touchstones[/del] arcade games using only the tools available to web developers.


It’s Pac-Man.

It runs on iOS Safari, and is easily the most comfortable PAC man game for an iPad I’ve ever played. Colour me surprised!

Works on the iPhone too, but I get no sound. Should there be?


  1. Grab the rock you’ve been living under.

  2. Heave it off of yourself.


-1 for not knowing how to play pac-man, but +1 for correct use of ‘whom’?

Um, OK. How do you “eat dots?” When I press START I see the figures move around for a few seconds and then it seems to go back to the beginning. The cursor doesn’t seem to move any of the figures or fences.

I’m 55.

So it’s like playing solitaire? I always assumed when I saw groups of boys at the mall that they were playing against each other. Is it primarily randomness/luck, or is there also some sort of skill?

No sound, alas. Sound is a big part of the arcade experience.

Woo-woo-woo! Chackachackachaka!

Depending on what system it is played on (arcade, console, cell phone, internet etc.) the Artificial intelligence of the ghosts trying to catch you varies greatly. On the arcade version, there is a relatively fixed pattern the ghosts follow, and so a true expert can play the game perpetually until they grow tired of it. Skill/memorization in this case.

This is true about the original arcade version of Pac-Man.
Ms. Pac-Man was introduced with a semi-random pattern and rudimentary tracking of your player by the ghosts.

It was a superior game, especially after ‘that guy’ mastered the Pac-Man ghosts’ patterns.

Yeah… you know ‘that guy’.

The Google Pac Man game is better, with original sound effects.

It’s not random. The skill comes in avoid the ghosts while eating all the dots.

I’ll turn 55 in a little over a week. HAVE you been living under a rock? Pac Man arcade games were in just about every grocery and convenience store when you were in your 20s, assuming that you lived in the US.

What I want is a really good Joust browser game.

What kind of browser are you using? Internet Explorer? It probably won’t work with Internet Explorer, especially if it’s an older version, like version 6.

Jeez, somebody help the guy.

You’re the big yellow circle. You move around the maze by using the arrow keys, not the mouse. You eat a dot just by touching it. You try to avoid the monsters chasing you while eating the little dots, because if they touch you, you die (but you have three lives). But when you eat one of the four big dots, the monsters briefly turn blue, and then if they touch you, they die, and you get a bunch of bonus points. So you chase them while they’re blue, and run away from them after they change back to their normal colors.

When you get good, you can run around until all four monsters are close behind you, and then lead them to a big dot, eat it, quickly reverse direction, and eat all four monsters before they can get away.

You get bonus points for running over any fruit that appears briefly.

If you eat all the dots, you win that round, but a new one starts a few seconds later, and the monsters move a bit faster each round.

I see that this version has some cheats and practice rounds to help you learn. It’s pretty well done, but it’s more fun with the arcade sounds.

Only good for those of a certain age.

Thank you, TonySinclair. Were there instructions on the original games, or is it a reference to a 1980s cartoon or kids’ show, such that potential players would have already known the characters and what they did?

If you’re just playing against a machine, what’s the reward or payoff for winning? I do remember that pinball machines would (I think) give you a free game if you scored high enough.

Sorry, Lynn Bodoni. By the time I was in my mid-20s I was already working.

Hell, I saw Pac Man for the first time in an arcade when I was 18 or so. I loved to play pinball, and had seen Pong, but Pac Man was new, and a lot of the people in the arcade were puzzled by it. I know when and where it was because I remember the arcade clearly. By the time I was in my mid twenties, I was married, with a toddler, working, and doing grocery shopping. And that’s when I saw all the video games in grocery stores. Not in the base commissaries, but in the off base grocery stores and convenience stores. There were arcades, too. But seriously, didn’t you go grocery shopping? Didn’t you see the video games right near the entrances/exits?