Pac-Man, formerly known as Puckman in Japan, is a classic maze video game series (ESRB ratings: E). It was first released in 1979 in Japan and later released in America in 1980 by Namco. The game is completely non-violent so it is considered clean and family friendly fun for all ages.
The game has been ported to virtually every video game console ranging from the classic NES to the modern X-Box 360, and to devices such as cell phones. It has spawned a litany of sequels, such as Ms. Pac-Man and platform spin-offs such as Pac-Man World and Pac-Man Party.
Pac-Man was originally created by Tōru Iwatani. He claimed he came up with the idea of the game while eating a pizza and one slice was missing (the pizza would resemble the main character), but he later admitted this claim was false. The premise of this game was to attract an audience to video games other than the typical one that played the games, which were in large quantities space shooters; the major audience was teenage boys and young men, and Iwatani hoped to get people of both genders and of different age ranges into video games. It proved successful, as Pac-Man became a smash hit and became one of the most popular video games of all time.
Players play as the title character, a yellow, pie-shaped character whose objective to eat all the dots in the maze. Pac-Man is chased by four ghosts named Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde, who chase him with an intention of making the player lose a life. Pac-Man can eat the ghosts after eating one of four energizers (Power Pellets), located near the corners surrounding the maze, which turn the ghosts blue for a short time. Pac-Dots are worth 10 points, Power Pellets are worth 50 points. When Pac-Man eats the ghosts, he first ghost is 200 points, the second ghost is 400 points, the third 800 points, and the fourth 1600 points. Also, after Pac-Man eats a specific number of dots, a bonus fruit appears in the center of the maze. They give bonus points.
Since this game was very successful, many sequels and spinoffs have followed. These include (but are not limited to) Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man Plus, Jr. Pac-Man, and platformers like Pac-Man World. It has also been released for many video game consoles, handhelds, new arcade machines, and even cell phones.