Home Reviews 2.5/5 Review PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs Review

PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs Review


The next game I would like to put forward for Worst Videogame Title 2024 is PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs. I mean, just look at it. PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle is pushing it a little, the original name of the game when it launched on Google Stadia in 2020. But the Chomp Champs suffix offers literally nothing apart from a crick in my jaw whenever I try and attempt to say it all in the one breath.

Because the game name does such a terrible job indicating what it is, allow me. PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs is the latest battle royale PAC-MAN game which, by my calculations, is at least the fourth PAC-MAN battle royale game out there. This however, is the first one to come to Xbox.

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Battle Royale Pac!

You square off against 63 other PAC-MANs/MEN doing what the iconic character does best: eating pellets and chasing down ghosts. The twist here is that your opponent’s mazes can be visited by travelling through portals when open. In their mazes, you can also eat pellets and ghosts, but you can also EAT OTHER PAC-MEN. PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Cannibal Champs would have been a much more suitable name.

As the number of participants reduces, so does the number of mazes. You are never wandering aimlessly around a maze looking for ghosts of pellets, everything is condensed down nicely. 

Things quickly get frantic as well, but without reducing the fun. You start with three lives, but as you progress more can be found through power-ups. There are also missions to undertake throughout; these aren’t essential but can earn you some extra points. They range from things like eating ghosts of pellets in an opponent’s maze, to placing a bounty on the head of another player for you to hunt down and eat. That’s if you have any additional human players against you.

It is highly unlikely that you will have a full lobby of 64 actual players, even with cross-play enabled. Spaces are filled with AI opponents, and most of the time you will be playing against them in the two main modes, Elimination and Ranked.

The difference between these modes? Absolutely nothing. Ranked mode unlocks after you hit Level 10 in Elimination mode but these two play identically, aside from Ranked mode being hypothetically more competitive. Providing you find a human opponent.

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Various maps in PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs

Ranked mode is supposedly going to offer seasonal rewards, but herein lies the biggest problem with PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs. You’re probably thinking this sounds like a fun free-to-play title, but it is a premium release. And a pricey one too, costing £15.99 for a game that is presented as a freemium title. And there are also additional DLC packs containing outfits and customisation options.

The problem with the AI is that you will quickly realise they don’t have much skill. Games will be over fairly quickly and a lot of the time I have won by default rather than having a showdown with an opponent on the final maze. The odd times that has happened though have been a blast; tense affairs where you can go early and devour power pellets to catch your opponent out, or bide your time and hope they get caught short between ghosts. Sometimes I feel that PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs would be better with more players starting on fewer mazes, to make these great moments more commonplace.

I’m not always comfortable bashing on a game for its price, and will only do so when necessary. But PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs presents itself as a free-to-play title. One look at the main menu, although this looks like the most basic and thoughtless UI I have ever seen, will tell you. There is a shop where you can gain access to a very limited amount of customisation options, and the promise of seasonal rewards. And, I can’t believe I am about to say this, but this is a game that would have benefitted from a Battle Pass, or some kind of progression system. Aside from levelling up and earning coins, there is no means to progress and unlock more things. It’s painfully basic, and this will be detrimental to the long-term performance of the game.

Your customisation options include hats, glasses and outfits for your PAC-MAN. However, many hats and outfits cannot be worn together, with the outfits covering up most of your PAC-MAN.

You can also purchase new themes for your maze, but with so few available at launch, you will regularly see the same ones over and over again. Whether more are to be added over time remains to be seen, but I would expect them to only be in the form of paid DLC anyways.

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PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs can be fun…

Above all else, however, PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs is fun. The gameplay of PAC-MAN is timeless and is still the predominant feature here. Anything additional features add to it rather than dampen the fun. And if all you’re after is another modern take on the core gameplay, this is a worthy purchase.

Those looking for something a bit more, a complete experience, will be left disappointed by PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs. There is one game mode split across two ‘different’ mode types, no real sense of progression, an archaic menu and simply not enough here to keep fans playing long-term.

And at the price PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs has positioned itself at, that really is not good enough.

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Avid gamer since the days of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Grew up with the PS1 and PS2 but changed allegiances in 2007 with the release of Halo 3.
pac-man-mega-tunnel-battle-chomp-champs-review<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Is quite fun at times</li> <li>Final showdowns can be particularly tense</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Premium game that suits a free-to-play model</li> <li>Lack of content and customisation options</li> <li>Very basic UI</li> <li>Lack of progression system</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Bandai Namco</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 8 May 2024 | £15.99</li> </ul>
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