The gameplay is tight, even with this early demo. You are Ms. Pac-Man, and you basically run around, eat power pellets and normal pellets, and solve simple puzzles. We?re not talking brain-busting activities here, but what activities you partake in are quite fun. As you run around the mazes, you may have to push blocks, bounce around on pads that direct you different places, and of course, eat pellets and power pellets to munch the ghosts. You have a health bar, so getting hit by a ghost doesn?t mean instant death, and healing items abound. There is fruit as well to collect for bonuses, some of it very well hidden.
But the game?s simplicity may be its flaw. Sure, running around in mazes and munching pellets in full 3D is fun -- how can it not be? But there may not be too much staying power, enough draw to make you play through the entire game. Fortunately, the thoughtful people at Namco supplied us with some groovy other stuff -- multiplayer, where you can beat the tar out of your friends (and upon dying, come back to haunt them as one of the ghosts - cool), and a (nonfunctional in the demo) ostensibly emulated version of the original Ms. Pac-Man. Considering that Ms. Pac-Man was by far the best of the series (well, Pac-Man Jr. was pretty sweet too), this is a Good Thing (tm).