By Akriti Rana & Nimish Dubey
New Delhi: Who is a tad over forty, goes through mazes, munches pellets, dodges ghosts, runs on everything from the retro 80s arcade machines to contemporary consoles, has sold almost 50 million units and now has a phone of its own? If the ghosts, the maze and the pellet-munching have not given it away already, we are talking about one of the most legendary games of all time, Pac-Man.
Pac-Man is one of the few games that has not only managed to survive the evolution of technology but has continued to have a cult following. The simple game has a tiny, round creature, Pac-Man, that has a habit of munching pellets endlessly. But life is not all that easy inside a maze out in space. Apart from basic maneuvering, Pac-Man also has to avoid ghosts that roam the maze and have the ability to kill it with a single encounter. If ghosts were not enough of a problem, the maze in space also starts disappearing when you are just moments into the game, creating a slight panic and reminding you to pick up the pace to finish up the task at hand. It is a simple formula and has no stunning graphics or sound, but has remained incredibly addictive over the years.
A Pac-Man Special Edition From OnePlus
So much so that the game now has a phone of its own. It is pretty routine to see a game designed to be played on a specific device but how often do you see an entire smartphone taking inspiration from a game? Well, that is exactly what has happened with the launch of OnePlus Nord 2 Pac-Man edition.
OnePlus has partnered with Bandai Namco (the creators of Pac-Man) and the result is a Pac-Man-ified Nord 2. Now, OnePlus’ special edition devices usually do not really excite us as they hardly bring anything ‘special’ to the table apart from a few wallpapers and some subtle design changes. But the Pac-Man edition Nord 2 is different.
Not too different but definitely different.
Yes, the phone comes with the exact same specs and numbers as the regular Nord 2 (launched a few months ago). But OnePlus has worked on the design and interface add a lot of Pac-Man-ness to this special edition.
Subtly Surprising And Special
Starting off with the design, the back of the Nord 2 Pac-Man edition would evoke feelings of nostalgia in those who adore the game. The glass back has Pac-Man vibes embedded through different layers. The outermost layer comes with Pac-Man food neatly arranged all over the back while Pac-Man itself sits right below the camera unit. OnePlus has also shifted its logo to the base of the back. This is the most evident, obvious design element, but there are others,
which are both subtle and surprising.
The inner layer of the phone’s back has the iconic Pac-Man maze design created with phosphorescent ink which makes it glow in the dark. You cannot see the maze in daylight, but it comes to life in the dark, being both surprising and subtle. There is also a very subtle OnePlus x Pac-Man branding right beside the camera unit.
The phone also comes with some Pac-Man accessories. You get a translucent case with Pac-Man design on it and if you order the phone directly from OnePlus, the brand also sends a DIY, Lego-inspired stand which comes with a set of cute ghosts and Pac-Man itself.
Pac-Man Outside, Pac-Man Inside
These cosmetic changes are bundled with some really fun Pac-Man touches in the UI. This means you won’t just get those Pac-Man vibes while looking at the phone but while using it as well. The usual special edition additions like wallpaper, sound effects exist on this Nord, but there is more.
Keeping in mind the retro theme of the phone, OnePlus has changed the icons of its native apps and given them an old-fashioned, pixelated, 4-bit games inspired look. OnePlus has also customised the look of the in-display fingerprint scanner on the phone which has Pac-Man in the centre of a circular maze. And when the phone reads your fingerprint, a tiny Pac-Man goes around the circumference of the fingerprint scanner circle, being chased by three
The phone also boots up with Pac-Man animation, a neat touch. But our favourite thing happens when you put the phone on charge – Pac-Man appears on the display and starts gulping pellets, indicating the phone is getting food and is being charged.
OnePlus says there is some more Pac-Man related content like ringtones and stickers on the phone but those can be unlocked by completing challenges on the phone, which will appear as you use it. And of course, if you want to play the game itself, the phone comes with Pac-Man 256 preinstalled on it.
It has got some design, some UI touches and the game itself. So just how Pac-Man-ish is the new Nord 2 Pac-Man edition?
Well, the phone is certainly a more special edition than most special edition devices from OnePlus. We would have liked some more prominent Pac-Man design elements on the phone, something which would scream Pac-Man instead of suggesting it so subtly. For instance, a bright yellow coloured Nord 2, a start-up Pac-Man sound, or integrating the game even more deeply into the skin of the phone by making native apps’ interface Pac-Man-like on the inside as
well would have reinforced the Pac-Man-ness of the phone.
That said, the OnePlus Nord 2 Pac-Man edition certainly is a decent effort. At Rs 37,999, it costs more than the regular Nord 2 which is priced at Rs. 34,999 but for those extra bucks, it takes all Pac-Man people back to the arcade era. We hope OnePlus does not settle here and brings an even more engaging special edition smartphone of a similar legendary game.
Mario or Zelda, anyone?