Pac Man Live

From Ludocity
Pac Man Live
Paint Pac Man.jpg
Designer: Adam Nelson
Year: unknown
Players: 4
Stuff required: One Pac Man hat or mask. Three Ghost hats or masks. A Pac Man sound effect board. Forty-five yellow glow-stick wristbands, five blue glow-stick bracelets.
Crew required: Two.
Preparation: 2 hours.
Time required: Five-ten minutes per game.
Place required: Theater seats or another natural maze.
Activities: Chasing, strategy, monster eating.
This is a playable game - it's finished, tested and ready to play.
This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

Pac Man Live is played in the aisles of a theater or any other natural maze. Pac Man (or Ms. Pac Man) weaves through the maze, collecting glowing bracelets and avoiding Ghosts. Pac Man wins if he collects all the bracelets; the team of Ghosts win if they tag Pac Man three times.


  1. Pac Man and the ghosts start at opposite corners. Pac Man starts after the intro music, and each Ghost starts when the siren is heard.
  2. Pac Man can move in any direction, at any time. Ghosts can only move in a straight line (they can’t reverse course).
  3. Each time Pac Man is tagged by a Ghost, he dies and everyone returns to their start positions. Pac Man has three lives.
  4. If Pac Man grabs a power pill, Ghosts “turn blue” and can be tagged by Pac Man for the next ten seconds. Tagged Ghosts return to their start position and must wait for the siren to start again.
  5. Walk-a, walk-a, walk-a: No running. At least one foot must always be in contact with the ground. No cheating.
  6. Pac Man wins if he collects all the cookies. Ghosts win if they catch Pac Man three times.

Set Up

Pac Man Live relies on audio signals controlled by the game master. Namco sells the actual sounds from their Pac Man video game on iTunes for $3.00, and there's a few soundboard software systems available for download on the internet (I used Soundboard2.4). I also used Audacity to knit sounds together into easy-to-use sound effects (it's easy).

A friend made the Pac Man and Ghost costumes, which are made from cardboard, construction paper, and string.

Lastly, we hung the glowing wristbands from the backs of the theater seats, evenly distributing the five blue "power pill" wristbands throughout the area.

One staffer (the game master) controls the audio, which signals when Pac Man begins, when Ghosts are released, and when ghosts "turn to blue." The other staffer stays on the floor and ensures the rules are being followed.