Pac-Man 99, a battle royale spin on the classic Namco maze game, looks like a brutal blast. With its interesting approach to make the game competitive, it looks like it’ll be a fun game for folks who download it for free later today as part of deal between Bandai Namco and Nintendo. Nintendo Switch Online subscribers can download the game starting tonight (April 7) at 6 p.m. Pacific Time.
But it’s also kind of funny to look at Bandai Namco releasing a battle royale version of a classic game without putting an expiration date on it, when Nintendo couldn’t be bothered to do it for their own mascot earlier this year. As part of the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. 35, which had a similar concept to Pac-Man 99. Players would control their Mario, and by progressing through a side scrolling level, hinder their opponent’s progress. Like other Mario games meant to celebrate the anniversary, Super Mario Bros. 35 was removed from the Nintendo eShop last week. This went a step further than the Super Mario 3D All-Stars eShop removal, which took it off the store and stopped manufacturing physical copies, as the game’s servers were also shut down entirely.
Meanwhile, Pac-Man 99 seems like it’s going to just be a video game that exists on Nintendo’s platform with no strings attached. The game will be free to Nintendo Switch Online players, with additional DLC so Bandai Namco can actually make money on it. This will include skins based on other retro Namco games, including Galaga, Dig Dug, and Dragon Buster. These are available for $1.99 each.
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There’s also a sort of premium package for $29.99, which includes more modes, alongside the other themes:
・CPU BATTLE Mode
・SCORE ATTACK Mode
・BLIND TIME ATTACK Mode
・8 PAC-MAN Arrangements
・20 Custom Themes
Check out the announcement trailer below: