Chomp v1.1 and MakMan v1.0- by David Seldon

When you're asleep at night, do you dream of the electronic sounds of video arcades? Do you see small yellow circles chasing ghostly blue creatures? Are you a child of the '80s? If you are and you're fondly missing some of the classic games of that era, don't despair, you can recapture your former arcade glory right from you OS/2 desktop!

Chomp v1.1 by Jerry J. Shekhel and MakMan v1.0 by Markellos J. Diorinos are, quite simply, two PacMan clones for OS/2. Both are simple, faithful to the original and fun. But there are some notable differences between the two.

Chomp v1.1

Chomp is the simpler of the two games and by far the older. In fact, the files in the Chomp zip file (there are only two) are dated June 17th, 1990. No, that's not a typo -- 1990! This program is almost as old as the original PacMan and the docs claim it was first developed on OS/2 v1.1 (but it runs fine on Warp)! In fact it was only when the author wrote:
I've tried to make the game as close to the original as possible in gameplay, but I haven't seen a PacMan machine in years, so all the elements of the game have been recalled from memory
that I realized even the ancient age of 6 years pales in comparison to the length of time it has been since the world has seen a PacMan machine. I'm getting old.

Regardless, Chomp (GIF, 5k) is a fun little game. It is a direct port of an earlier clone, Xchomp, which originally ran on the X window system on a Sun workstation. Significant shortcomings of the game are that it is black and white only and features no sound, but these are the only real gripes I had. The lack of tunnels that travel from the left to the right of the screen (and vice versa) may disappoint PacMan purists though.

The game window is small but convenient on a 640x480 resolution monitor, the speed of play is challenging and the graphics are good. In a lot of testing I didn't find any problems with the program. There is a significant delay (not disk accessing, just a pause) when starting the program but other than that, it was snappy on the test 486DX2 66. Game control is by keyboard only.

There is not much else to be said about this no-frills version of PacMan. It is a good diversion for those of you who were once addicted but may not be colorful or noisy enough for others. For a registration fee of only US$20 (or $35 with full source code) Chomp is a bargain.

MakMan v1.0

A much more ambitious port of this classic game has been undertaken by Markellos J. Diorinos. This much more recent game was brought to the v1.0 level recently and features fantastic sounds and graphics.

Of course, it's still PacMan. Again, this game has no "travel through" tunnels that I remember from the original game (at least not in the levels I could get to) but other than that, the PacMan aficionado will be in heaven. MakMan comes with three settings for it's graphics: Classic (GIF, 10k), 3D (GIF, 16.5k) and Fufitos (GIF, 10k). The 3D setting is probably the nicest, but it's not really important because anyone with OS/2 and the OS/2 icon editor can edit the included bitmaps to create their own look for the game. MakMan also features original PacMan sounds (these are great; it's just like being back in the arcade!!), 18 levels (9 field designs, each with 2 difficulty levels), multiple sprite libraries and the ability to create your own sprites, DIVE and PM support, and high score tracking.

I say above that the game features DIVE support but I should qualify this by saying that I was unable to get the DIVE version working. While I have never had problems with DIVE games on the test machine in the past, MakMan failed to display properly when run with the DIVE option. Normal game play (i.e. non-DIVE) worked fine. However, another problem in this case was the fact that the screen defaults to a huge size which makes it unplayable on a 640x480 monitor. I was forced to switch to 800x600 mode to test the game.

Other than these glitches, the game performed well overall. Again, this version is more or less faithful to the original but with a much bigger, full colour display and great sounds. The game is also reasonably challenging. MakMan can be controlled by the keyboard or by an optional joystick.

In summary, gamers who are a little more serious about PacMan may want to look into this version as a solution to their yearning. At an even more reasonable registration price of US$15 you are entitled to all future versions of the game. For that price, you can't go wrong.


 * Chomp v1.1 for Presentation Manager
by Jerry J. Shekhel
MSRP: US$20

 * MakMan v1.0
by Markellos J. Diorinos
MSRP: US$15


David Seldon is a part time language teacher and part time student. When he's not travelling or playing games he enjoys surfing and skiing.

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