June 24, 2013 at 5:19 PM ET
Ever wonder what it would feel like to really step into Pac-Man's shoes, or whatever it is that helps the guy move forward and gobble up all those pellets?
Sure, running around with a relentless case of the munchies and occasionally swallowing your worst enemies whole might seem like a lot of fun, but wouldn't wandering around a dark "Tron"-like maze where the only other things to interact with are a bunch of silent ghosts that just stare at you until they somehow kill you with little more than a touch sound absolutely terrifying? As the popular Web comic "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal" put it, if you really think about the story of "Pac-Man," "it's like Kafka wrote a Lovecraft story."
That's certainly what playing "FPS-Man" feels like. Created by the British-based developer Tom Davies while he was learning how to use the Unity game engine, "FPS-Man" is a harrowing take on the classic arcade game.
"FPS-Man" plays less like the cartoonish hunt for cherries and pellets that we all know and love from the arcade cabinets of yore and more like Theseus trying to hunt down the Minotaur and escape the maze. Think those scenes from the first "Alien" movie when they're all trying to survive by tracking a tiny dot across a screen, except suddenly its giant-eyed ghosts that are jumping out at you. Luckily, the game spares you any gore whenever the ghosts catch Pac-Man.
Hopefully given the timing of "FPS-Man's" release, this means that survival horror spin on the arcade classic will soon appear on next-generation consoles — or better yet, a virtual reality platform like the Oculus Rift or the Omni treadmill. Because what could be more fun (or terrifying) than having to run away from dead-eyed ghosts as your own personal Pac-Man?
In the meantime, you can play "FPS-Man" for free on the website Kongregate.
— via Fast Company
Yannick LeJacq is a contributing writer for NBC News who has also covered technology and games for Kill Screen, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. You can follow him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq and reach him by email at: email@example.com.