I discovered that Google just made a funny update to Maps, enabling you to play pac-man using the maps from your own neighborhood.
It likely won’t be something you want to spend hours playing, unlike the original back in the 80s, but it’s still a fun example of how you can use map data, and modern technologies.
So if you got some extra time after ordering a pizza – maybe even with extra cheese on it – then why not kill some time, turning your local neighborhood into a cheese infested monster munching nightmare.
The original pac-man lives on
What many people don’t realize, is that you can actually still play old DOS based games like PAC-MAN on modern computers – though a few of them may run a bit sluggish. Some of the old DOS games can be quite addictive, and many of them are very challenging.
To play these old games, you still need a legal copy – though it might be hard find a place to buy them in many cases. However, these old games would often qualify as abandonware, and are available as downloads on different websites – some are even given away as free downloads by the companies who own the rights. Rockstar games has some of the earlier Grand Theft Auto games available as free downloads.
But for even older games, you often need to look elsewhere to find them. If you are buying a used copy, the original creators will not profit anyway, and as such it would be easier to download it from somewhere on the internet.
How to play the original PAC-MAN
First you need a good DOS emulator, the best you'll find is probably dosbox. You can download DosBox from dropbox.com. The next thing you'll need to do, is to mount a directory as your c drive, in DosBox, the c drive will be the location of all the games and programs you install. When you got DosBox setup, you can go to a website like abandonia.com and try to find the game you are looking for – in this case the original PAC-MAN.
Different versions of PAC-man
The different versions of PAC-MAN makes it hard to find one that's actually fun to play, the first dos port of PAC-MAN is ultra ugly. There's one called "Ms Pac PC" that you may want to try, it also comes with different mazes.
You can find a detailed list of the different PAC-MAN games on wikipedia, the link is located at the bottom.