Sunday, 15 September 2013

Mental Disorder Pacman

Mental Disorder Pacman
By Paul Equinox Collins
Genre: Maze disorder

What do we have here?  When we thought every possible permeation of Pacman had been done, could it be our humble competition sees an original idea in the genre?

There’s a lot of work in Mental Disorder Pacman, which is HiSoft compiled BASIC (I think).  To quote Paul:

This is "Mental Disorder Pac-Man". You can either play a normal(ish, but crap) game of Pac-Man, or enable one of nine different, exciting mental disorders, which will affect your perception of the game in various ways. Watch out for the ghosts, as they have little or no sympathy for your disabilities.

The ‘normal’ Pacman game is actually ok – despite being character based (which is actually fine with me but not everyone likes it) it has some lovely sounds and looks good.  The key to a good Pacman game is the keyread, you should be able to press the new direction and our little yellow friend keeps moving until that direction becomes available.  Thankfully Mental Disorder Pacman doesn’t have this property, instead favouring the ‘stop dead when new key pressed and frustrate the player’ method.  Also the speed is not constant, Pacman has the occasional burst of speed, making judging those corners even harder (so bonus points natch).

The disorders:

Autism: Pacman has his own little maze.  He may be able to see the ghosts and observe their behaviour when eating a power pill, but to understand and interact with them is not an option.
Anorexia: Not so many pellets, none of which are power pills, and a more slimline Pacman.
Multiple Personality: Two Pacmans, both vulnerable to the ghosts.  Makes for interesting strategy.
Huntington’s disease: Not so easy to control.
Gender Identity: Pacman has a rather fetching ponytail.
Pica: Never heard of this before, some people apparently like eating non nutritious stuffs, eg dirt.  Pacman can eat the walls, makes for an interesting (and easier!) game.
Fregoli delusion: A new one on me, one ghost with numerous forms.
Narcolepsy: Pacman takes the occasional nap.
Catatonia: Poor Pacman cannot move away from the ghosts, but on the upside he knows very little about what they will do to him.

I suppose in summary we can say that life is hard (as is the ‘normal’ version), but some have it harder than others.  Unless you have pica.

Download here, the BASIC source follows the game.  Thankyou Eq!


  1. Hey, the "rather fetching ponytail" is meant to be a bow. Never played Ms. Pac-Man?

  2. Oops sorry chef. Yep played on a real Speccy via real tape a few months ago. I would have still got it wrong though! Who wears a bow these days except people doing the Reith lecture?! Great game though, thanks :-)