Pac-Man is one of the most influential video games of all time. Not only has it generated millions of dollars in revenue since its launch, but it has spawned sequels, songs, cartoon shows, merchandise and – of course – hordes of imitators. It's fair to say that, without Pac-Man, the video game landscape would be somewhat different today.
Pac-Man has seen various iterations and improvements over the years, with Pac-Man 256 being one of the most recent, and most addictive. However, game designer Kenta Cho has come up with what must rank as the most simplified and streamlined version of the game yet: Paku Paku, or, as Ars Technica calls it, "1D Pac-Man".
While Namco's original classic takes place in a maze and expects the player to gobble up 240 dots, Paku Paku presents you with a single tunnel and just 16 dots to consume. You're also up against just a solo ghost, as opposed to the four which relentlessly hound you in the original.
Just like in Pac-Man, it's possible to warp from one side of the tunnel to the other by moving off the left or right edge of the pathway, and the aim is to eat as many dots as possible before you're caught by the ghost. There's a single power pill that allows you to eat said ghost, but this won't respawn until you've eaten all 16 dots, so Paku Paku quickly becomes a tight and delightfully tense experience.
You can play Paku Paku – and many of Cho's other 'mini-games' – in your browser right now. As Ars Technica says, it's certainly worth a look.