Back in the days of arcades and the Nintendo Entertainment System, there was only one way to know if someone was the best at a game. They could either play it really fast, which eventually gave berth to speedrunning, or they had to get the highest score possible. Getting the highest score in a video game was, and still is, a huge deal. It was the only way to prove that someone was the best at a game.
As online head-to-head games have become the new norm, there are new and arguably better ways to decide who is truly the best at any particular game. The battle royale genre in particular has taken the world by storm thanks to a very simple concept: The last one standing is the winner.
If anyone has ever considered themself to be the ultimate player of Pac-Man, then a new battle royale has been created for the Nintendo Switch, Pac-Man 99. It’s a simple if not slightly reused concept: 99 Pac-Man characters enter and whomever survives the longest is the winner. Of course, to make it more interesting and not have matches go on for hours, Nintendo has thrown a few twists at the player to add a fresh take on the classic Pac-Man experience.
Pac-Man 99 is nothing new. It’s taking a formula that Tetris 99 and Mario 35 used once already and reskinned it to be more Pac-Man related. Ninety-nine players enter a course, and as they play, they gain the ability to wreak havoc on the other players. As the matches go on, they get more difficult until someone finally wins. That doesn’t mean this can’t be popular on its own merits, but it lacks the excitement of a Tetris 99 or Mario 35 because of the similarities.
While Tetris 99 is still active and popular, Mario 35 was recently shut down by Nintendo, so who knows what the long-term fate of Pac-Man 99 will be. That said, the trailer advertised some extra paid features so this title may receive more support than Mario 35 did. This could be the latest battle royale to take off, or it could fall into obscurity in a genre that is becoming packed.