App of the Week: Pac-Man is the top iPhone app in 44 countries



More than a video game, Pac-Man – as one of the earliest hit video games – is a global icon. Even my grandmother recognizes Pac-Mac. So perhaps it’s not surprising that when Apple made the iOS version of Pac-Man free last week as its “App of the Week” that fans around the world welcomed it warmly.

Just how well has Pac-Man been doing over the past week since it was made free? Well, it’s currently the number one free iOS app in an astounding 44 countries, including the US and Japan. I confess, I don’t think I can remember when any app has been number one in so many countries. It just goes to show that in addition to really liking free stuff, people around the world really love Pac-Man too. I’m constantly recommending apps to my wife, and this is one of the few that she actually downloaded once I told her about it.

The iOS game offers the classic maze for you to play, with eight new mazes that you can try, and optionally buy. One annoying part about the game, however, which is odd for a paid app, is that developer Namco-Bandai really doesn’t hesitate to overwhelm its users with ads. It’s pretty irritating, and if I had paid for the game I might be a little upset right now.

Since 1980 when Namco initially released the game, Japan has been producing a steady stream of iconic games and characters to follow in Pac-Man footsteps [1]. Over the years there has been Donkey Kong, Super Mario, Final Fantasy, and many more cultural exports that few countries (besides maybe the US) can match. China, for example, still hasn’t really produced anything to compare.

But I digress.

Do check out Pac-Mac over on the App Store if you haven’t gotten it already. The week is almost over, and it won’t be free for too much longer!

  1. Note that these are metaphorical feet only. Pac-Man, as everyone knows, does not have any feet with which to make footsteps.  ↩