After getting off to a rough start at preschool this year (crying, not participating in activities), my son has been doing great for the past few weeks. I therefore decided to reward him by buying a new game for his Nintendo DS, as it’s been a while since the last new title. It was tough trying to find something that a four-and-a-half year old can play, but I eventually settled on something called Pac ‘N Roll.
Pac ‘N Roll is loosely based on the old Pac-Man game that took the entire world by storm in the 1980s. By “loosely based,” I mean you play as Pac-Man, you eat pellets, and you have ghosts chasing you. Other than those components, however, Pac ‘N Roll is quite different from the original in actual gameplay.
Gameplay in Pac ‘N Roll consists of using the NDS stylus to maneuver Pac-Man through various worlds. You more or less just follow a single trail of pellets from beginning to end, trying to avoid ghosts along the way. There are the usual power pellets that allow you to defeat the ghosts, and this game also includes special “modifier items” like a suit of armor or pair of wings that accordingly influence the speed and agility of Pac-Man.
Each world only takes a few minutes to complete (at least in the beginning stages; I haven’t made it all the way through the game yet), which is a plus because you can knock out a few levels while waiting at the dentist office or whatever.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take the extensive stylus usage into account when buying this game for my son. At his age, he simply doesn’t have the manual dexterity required to control the stylus precisely enough to play Pac ‘N Roll, so after a few frustrating attempts, he had to give up on the game. I wish there was a way to toggle the controls between the stylus and the directional keys, but that’s not the case. So for now my son has to settle for watching me play the game. Hopefully he’ll be able to handle the stylus a little better in a few months, so we’ll definitely try again later.
Overall, Pac ‘N Roll for the Nintendo DS is a decent game. I must have missed the age recommendation in the product description while I was shopping otherwise I wouldn’t have bought this for my kid. Oh, well. I think I paid $19.99 for the game, so it’s not a big deal to have it sit on the shelf for a while.
(Click images to enlarge.)