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Pac-Man 99, a new battle royale game, comes to Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Online exclusive launches April 7

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

A new battle royale game starring Pac-Man comes to Nintendo Switch on Wednesday. Pac-Man 99 follows in the vein of Tetris 99 and Super Mario Bros. 35, both in re-imagining classic 8-bit games as battle royale competitions and launching exclusively on Nintendo Switch Online.

Pac-Man 99 looks like classic Pac-Man on its surface. Players chomp pellets, avoid ghosts, and turn the tables on Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde by eating Power Pellets to rack up high scores. But in true battle royale fashion, every Pac-Man is competing against other Pac-Men; you don’t need to just survive, you need to attack your enemies.

In Pac-Man 99, when players eat a ghost, they’ll send a Jammer Pac-Man to an opponent. Any player who touches a Jammer will be slowed down. Players can also swallow trains of ghosts by gobbling up Sleeping Ghosts, which form a snake-like buffet. Consume a Power Pellet, feast on a ghost train, and you’ll overwhelm your enemies with a barrage of Jammer Pac-Men.

Pac-Man 99 also includes power-ups that boost Pac-Man’s speed or multiply the number of Jammers sent to enemies. The game’s trailer, embedded above, makes everything clear.

Like Tetris 99 and Super Mario Bros. 35 (RIP), Pac-Man 99 is included as part of a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Bandai Namco is also selling downloadable content in the form of offline gameplay modes (CPU battle, score attack, and blind time attack) and cosmetic themes that make Pac-Man 99 look like Xevious, Dig Dug, Galaga, or Tower of Druaga.

Pac-Man 99 launches April 7 at 6 p.m. PDT. It’s Pac-Man’s third foray into the battle royale space, following Pac-Man Battle Royale, first released in arcades in 2011, and Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle, released on Google Stadia in 2020.

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