Steveo Reviews the Worst Gaming Products of 2015


by Playfair & Williams Games

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I am concerned when non-free gaming products co-opt clearly owned characters and artwork - not only for the copyright issues involved, but also because those types of theft rarely result in a product true to the property in question.

Here, for example, Playfair & Williams have created a Pac-Man themed game using FATE as its backbone. The game is not based the arcade game but rather on Pac-Man, the 1980s animated series, and includes setting elements from Pac-Land, the sequel arcade game.

A modified FATE base is the same trick Playfair & Williams used with Right Turn, Clyde, their first (and better) game about 1970s underground bare-knuckles fighters where the party are required to have at least one character who is an orangutan. Here, however, the decision to use FATE is a hindrance. Players are forced to pick from a limited number of pre-created aspects and skills, mostly color options and things like "Super" or "Summon Chomp Chomp". The inclusion of the Pac-Land material results in a game more often about collecting fairies in Fairyland than about the problems found in the Pac-World.

I give FATE-MAN one power pellet out of a possible five. The game manages to avoid any interesting aspect of playing as a Pac-Person.