PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs is another arcade game featuring the well-known and loved Pac-Man. This title was developed by Amber Studio and published by Bandai Namco Games. Whether you’re a huge Pac-Man fan or not, you’ll find ways to enjoy this game. However, your time with it may be short lived.

I don’t believe I need to explain what Pac-Man is all about. In terms of gameplay, PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs doesn’t do anything exciting to rejuvenate the mechanics of this classic arcade game. You still play as Pac-Man, munching your way through a maze avoiding (and sometimes eating) ghosts. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

However, now you’re competing against 63 other players. Yes, this game is taking notes from titles such as Tetris 99 and pits 64 Pac-Man players against one another. The last one standing wins. In theory, this is a great idea, but it didn’t execute well for me.

Upon turning on the game, you’ll play through two levels of Pac-Man to teach you the basics. It’s quick, so even if you’re well-versed in Pac-Man, you won’t roll your eyes too much. The second level explains that you’ll be able to get power-ups, such as a shield or ghost repellent. Other players will be able to go in and out of your maze, just as you’ll be able to explore their maze.

By going into other mazes, you’ll be able to eat their dots, power pellets, and fruits, steal their powers-ups, and also eat the ghosts and the other players (provided you have a power pellet). You have three lives, so if you get eaten by another player or get caught by a ghost, you’ll respawn back in the maze you died in.

Each round also has two missions. For example, one mission may be to eat 10 dots in someone else’s maze, eat two other players, go into three other mazes, etc. The missions are random for each game, so you won’t know what to work toward until you’re in the game. Even then, the missions don’t appear right away and they each have a certain amount of time to complete. It was hard to tell, but it seemed like the missions ranged from 30 seconds to a minute or so.

Completing a mission earns you more points. If you don’t complete a mission, you get zero points. There are no huge stakes or incentives to complete one or both missions within a game. In fact, I gave up on certain missions. If the game wanted me to eat 10 dots in someone else’s maze, sure. However, there was a mission to eat three ghosts in someone else’s maze. After completing that a few times and it not registering in-game, resulting in me “failing” the mission, I didn’t bother to work toward it whenever it popped up. The same thing happened a few times when I was supposed to eat two other players.

I think these missions were put in place to get players to explore more. There were many games where I stayed within my own maze and still managed to win first place because I’d let the other players duke it out amongst themselves or they’d get eaten by ghosts. I mostly lost games because I was clumsy and got eaten by my own ghosts.

Each game consists of four rounds or two minutes each. So, each game is short and sweet. It was often much less than that because players would drop like flies (either dropping out of the game or dying quickly). Then, it would take roughly a minute for the game to match me to a server. I was doing chores in between games because there was so much waiting. 

And there you have it: the two modes, elimination and ranking. I know I only explained one way of playing, but that’s because both modes are exactly the same. The only difference between the two is that the ranking mode will save your score and add it to a local and global leaderboard. That’s locked until you reach level 10. You’ll earn experience points for every game you play (depending on the missions you complete, how long you lasted, etc.). I had played about two hours of games in the elimination mode to reach level 10 just to unlock the exact same mode.

You’ll also earn coins when playing, which allows you to dress up your Pac-Man and buy different designs for your maze. It’s nothing too special, but I enjoy that type of aesthetic. My Pac-Man dressed as a bee was adorable.

Despite playing online with 63 other players, PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs is lonely and slow. You can play with friends but only if they have a copy of the game. I understand why; split-screen for this type of gameplay would be rough to follow, but the asking price (at the time of writing this review) is $19.99. For five minutes of fun at a time, lots of waiting in between games, and only one mode disguised as two, I personally feel like that asking price is a bit much.

I had fun with PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs when I first started playing. However, the longer I played, the more bored I got. It’s so slow-paced at times and the lack of content grew dull. Pac-Man itself is a fun game, so I may go back to this title from time to time, but it certainly won’t be a go-to of mine.