Google Celebrates Pac-Man's 30th Anniversary

Posted by Grey Saturday, May 22, 2010

A little more-than-pleasant surprise for those partaking in some 'googling' activity this weekend.

Google has consistently outdone itself when it comes to the customizing their homepage to suit the particular favor of the day, be it a festive period or an obscure anniversary.

With the 30th Anniversary of the arcade classic, Pac-Man, Google has all but assured us that the gloves are all off with their customization. While the usual tinkering of Google logo to fit the theme is still in place, the entire Google logo has become a full-functioning Pac-Man game itself, complete with the original sounds and levels. It is noticeable that the game frame loaded almost instantaneous with Google's very own Chrome browser while IE, Firefox, and Safari took a few seconds more to load. Nevertheless, these slight delays are insignificant and should not be disrupting one to pay tribute to one of the classic arcade gamer ever by simply playing.

Released in Japan on May 22, 1980, Pac-Man has went on to become an all-time arcade classic. With this miniature version of Pac-Man, you will get all the bells and whistles of the original game. According to an official statement by Google:

"To pay the homage that Pac-Man deserves as a ground-breaking innovation in the gaming world, Google equipped the doodle with many unique characteristics from the original Pac-Man game. From preserving the distinct personalities of the ghosts Inky (blue: fickle), Blinky (red: chaser), Pinky (pink: ambusher) and Clyde (orange: slow) to re-creating programming bugs from the original game like a "kill screen" on level 256, Sr. User Experience designer at Google, Marcin Wichary, along with Google doodler, Ryan Germick, remained as faithful to the spirit of Pac-Man as possible."

And this, from Marcin Wichary's Google Blog:

Today, on PAC-MAN’s 30th birthday, you can rediscover some of your 8-bit memories—or meet PAC-MAN for the first time—through our first-ever playable Google doodle. To play the game, go to during the next 48 hours (because it’s too cool to keep for just one day) and either press the “Insert Coin” button or just wait for a few seconds.

Google doodler Ryan Germick and I made sure to include PAC-MAN’s original game logic, graphics and sounds, bring back ghosts’ individual personalities, and even recreate original bugs from this 1980’s masterpiece. We also added a little easter egg: if you throw in another coin, Ms. PAC-MAN joins the party and you can play together with someone else (PAC-MAN is controlled with arrow keys or by clicking on the maze, Ms. PAC-MAN using the WASD keys).

Check out your friendly neighborhood Google homepage for the awesomeness.


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