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PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle Chomp Champs Review (PS5) – As Flat as You Can Get

PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle Chomp Champs Review (PS5) – Yet another iteration of the famous yellow dot munching man makes his way onto home consoles with a multiplayer spin and a battle-royale approach to his famous appetite.

Despite the promise of multiplayer PAC-MAN being a tried and true success, this effort comes across as a staggeringly cheap and shallow way to deliver on this promise, leaving me wanting to install any number of better alternatives on an already crowded storefront.

With confused mechanics, inconsistent performance and a general lack of polish, PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs fails to make much of a positive impression and wore out its welcome exceptionally quickly as I found myself growing weary of samey matches and perplexing progression.

PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle Chomp Champs Review (PS5) – As Flat As You Can Get

All You Can Eat

While PAC-MAN isn’t a stranger to multiplayer titles, and not even a stranger to the battle royale genre, Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs is the first version of PAC-MAN that actively stitches multiple mazes together for players to traverse and battle through.

By itself, this idea sounds quite novel. By allowing players to break into other mazes, there’s a potential for stealing points and power pellets to get a hand up on the competition.

On paper, this sounds like a match made in heaven for a multiplayer take on the arcade classic. In practice? This might be one of the most disorienting experiences that I have had in a multiplayer experience, let alone a PAC-MAN game.

Matches involve 64 other players all attempting to survive as long as they can – while being tasked with completing missions and eating pellets for the sake of points. Players are free to move between each other’s mazes at specific points during the game and this comes with the inherent risk of moving into the direct path of one of the ghosts – which always felt a bit more irritating than intended.

Despite the game encouraging you to move between mazes and steal pellets from other players, I struggled to work out exactly why I would risk one of my very limited lives for the chance of doing precisely that.

An exceedingly limited view of your opponent’s maze can be seen to the point of it almost being useless. At the very least, the music makes for a fairly energetic backdrop for these confusing battles.

A Confusing Mix-Up

Alongside the task of simply surviving the onslaught of ghosts in the classic PAC-MAN maze, the game also regularly supplies you with missions to do to add to your overall point total with unique objectives.

These objectives typically involve moving into somebody else’s maze and disrupting their play for your own benefit, thereby incentivising you to move beyond your 4 walls.

The only issue with this mechanic is that it seemingly doesn’t behave in a consistent way – at all. Being tasked to eat a power pellet out of an opponent’s maze is all well and good until the game refuses to actually acknowledge that you have done that same action. More than a few times, I arbitrarily failed a mission because the game simply didn’t count my contribution.

In doing so – I realised that these “missions” contribute absolutely nothing to whether you win or lose. I won games where I completed no missions and I lost games where I went out of my way to complete missions – it’s a totally baffling and nonsensical design choice.

If anything, choosing to complete missions is a greater risk to yourself as a result of how you can directly run into the path of a ghost and lose one of your very limited lives.

Power-ups similarly appear on the occasion and these can range from extra lives, to increasing speed and stunning enemy ghosts. These were fun to chase after and did actually add some variety. De-buffs also appear across the mazes and these can buff the ghosts and make your position a bit more dangerous. There isn’t much risk or reward but it was a fun enough addition.

After grinding out the casual matchmaking, you unlock the “ranked” mode of the game. Where I thought this mode would put a new priority on clearing missions in order to win – it was functionally the same as the base experience, with supposedly skill-based matchmaking based on a rudimentary tier system.

Ranking can only go so far when the game itself is a confused jumble of mechanics.

Tailor Your Experience

At the very least, there’s a wealth of customisation options to dig into and unlock by playing the online mode. These cosmetics offer a variety of different categories and each allows you to make your PAC-MAN stand out among the rest.

Most notable are the costumes that reference other Bandai-Namco properties, including arcade classics, Katamari Damacy and even Klonoa! These details were a pleasant reminder of slightly more compelling experiences I would rather be playing.

The customisation extends to the style of maze you choose to use as your own, and what other players will see if they move into your maze. This gives the game a nice bit of visual variety in light of the repetitive experience of playing a very slow-paced PAC-MAN experience.

These customisation options and modes are strung together with a presentation that feels unresponsive, clunky and shockingly cheap for the property it wears on the front label.

Coming from a franchise like PAC-MAN, I would have expected a bit more fanfare when navigating the menus and attempting to queue into games. Instead, the UI is shockingly cheap and feels like an early draft rather than something you would use in a serious product.

When you learn that this always-online game is a port of the ill-fated Stadia (anyone else remember that?) exclusive that shut down in 2023 alongside the system.

At the time I found myself being fairly jealous of Stadia players having access to what looked to be an innovative new spin on a classic formula. Unfortunately – after having forgot about it for nearly 4 years – it’s a shame that it never stood up to the promise that was there.

PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs is now available on PS5 and PS4.

Review code generously provided by publisher.



The Final Word

A novel concept is unfortunately lost in a muddle of confused mechanics and cheap presentation that makes me question exactly why this foregone Stadia game even made the jump to major platforms. Where I managed to have some small fun on the virtue of this still being the PAC-MAN we know and love, I found myself quickly wanting to reinstall other versions of the game. Given that this isn't even the first instance of a PAC-MAN battle royale, I'm sad that this didn't manage to emerge as a worthwhile competitor.