You know what I have never thought to myself while playing Pac-Man?
“I’d really love to have some money riding on this.”
Soon, that non-dream of mine will become a reality (is that the correct way to phrase that?) as Gamblit Gambling, LLC and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment will debut Pac-Man Battle Casino at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) this week with casino installations set for 2018.
Pac-Man Battle Casino is based on the player-versus-player arcade game, Pac-Man Battle Royale, introduced in 2011. If we assume that the games are essentially the same aside from the gambling factor, here is what the new skill game will look like.
Two to four players will compete against each other simultaneously in the same maze, unlike traditional Pac-Man, where two players really just play their own single-player games, alternating turns when someone loses a life. There will be four ghosts, dots, and power pellets, as usual. The dots, though, will not necessarily fill the entire maze.
When all of the dots on the screen have been eaten, they immediately reset in a different configuration with no stoppage in play. The same thing happens if a special item, like the cherries, are eaten.
The ghosts turn blue and can be eaten if a player eats a power pellet, just as we are used to in the original Pac-Man, but here’s the big twist: when a power pellet is eaten, all of the other players turn blue, as well, and can also be eaten. That’s right, you can eat the other Pac…Men? Pac-Mans?
If a player is caught by a ghost or eaten by an opponent, they are done for the round. The last player standing wins the round. In Pac-Man Battle Royale, games are three to nine rounds long; we don’t know if that will be the case with Pac-Man Battle Casino. Rounds are also timed in the arcade game.
As for the gambling aspect, it is very similar to PokerStars’ Spin & Go tournaments. Each player wagers the same amount of money and then a spinner appears to determine the winner-take-all prize that they will be playing for.
In the screenshot of the prize wheel Gambling Gaming provided to the media, four players each bet $5 and the wheel just happened to land on what appears to be the biggest prize, $600 (two of the largest prizes are difficult to read because of a sunburst-type of graphic effect). The smallest prize showing for the four-person $5 wager is $12 and 9 of the 16 spaces on the wheel have prize amounts of $12, $15, or $18. Thus, the casino is obviously profiting at least 56.25 percent of the time. I would assume that the probabilities of each prize aren’t the same, so the chances of hitting the top prize are almost certainly much, much lower than 1 in 16.
The prize is definitely known to the players at the beginning of the match, as screenshots of the gameplay show the prize displayed in the middle of the playing field.