Saturday, 7 December 2013

Pacmania STE Remix

Readers of a certain age may recall that the port of Namco's arcade classic Pacmania released on the ST by Grandslam Entertainment back in 1988 was rather disappointing, afflicted with unpleasantly jerky scrolling and a tiny, claustrophobic game area. It was passable, and had some decent music from Ben Dalglish, but it was pretty hard to convince yourself you were getting the full arcade experience.

Well, now Zamuel of atari-forum has programmed his own version almost from scratch, specifically designed to take advantage of the STE's extended hardware capabilities, and the improvements are astonishing. This version not only restores the arcade sound samples and extends the display beyond the standard 320x200 resolution, but best of all it runs at an astonishingly smooth 50fps(a somewhat significant increase on the original's 25fps). However, this does mean it'll only work on ST's with a fairly hefty amount of memory - in fact it needs an extravagant two megabytes of RAM to be able to run at all. Thankfully, even if you don't have access to this kind of hardware, Pacmania is fully compatible with ST emulators such as Steem, and is worth playing to get a glimpse of what could've been achieved if game developers had actually cared about the STE at the time.

You can read about the development of this version in more detail here:
The game itself can be downloaded from here:

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