One of gaming’s most popular characters of all time turns 35 today! The Retro Gamer team is celebrating the anniversary of the original arcade release of Pac-Man – Nick’s grabbed the Neo Geo Pocket Color version of the original, and even our managing director is in on the festivities:
— Damian Butt (@ImagineMD) May 22, 2015
Since his arcade debut back in 1980, the yellow dot-muncher has been in dozens of games and lent his appearance to all kinds of merchandise, as well as the odd promotional crossover with the likes of Google. In recent years, he’s even been reintroduced to younger audiences through the 3D animated series Pac-Man And The Ghostly Adventures, which has spawned its own spin-off game and merchandise.
Bandai Namco is holding a free party to celebrate the anniversary at its Level 257 venue in Schaumburg, Illinois today, featuring themed events, a birthday cake and an appearance from Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man. The company has also refreshed its Pac-Man and Pac-Man Lite iOS apps, offering a new look and brand new mazes for long-term fans to enjoy.
If you’re unaware of how the arcade icon came to be, fear not – Retro Gamer has you covered. Pick up a copy of Retro Gamer issue 61 via greatdigitalmags.com to read our feature on the making of Pac-Man, in which we get the full story from Toru Iwatani himself.