We knew it was only a matter of time before Crossy Road came to PAC-MAN 256: developer Hipster Whale is the talent behind both endless hits, and they love their character cameos. The car-dodging chicken has shown up in Land Sliders and Shooty Skies, while welcoming guests from Monument Valley, Clicker Heroes, Pac-Man, and a half dozen other titles to her own game. Why did the chicken cross the road? To become a mobile gaming guest megastar, apparently.
This time around, the Crossy Chicken brought the whole highway system with her, adding an entirely Crossy-themed map to PAC-MAN 256. She devours dots in place of Pac-Man while ghost-colored cars give chase. The world is a lush green dotted with trees, railroad signs, and decorative lakes. We’re loving the entire new aesthetic, but one of our favorite parts is the sleeping cars that have replaced Spunky. Oh, and Crossy Chicken shooting laser beams out of her head, of course.
While the Crossy Road theme is free for all players along with this update, you can drop a dollar to get another additional theme: the Grid. This turns Pac-Man’s world into an extra-3D futurescape where everything is a bit more digitized, likely inspired by PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX. Power pellets are now cubes, ghosts give off a lengthy afterglow, and everything is almost-transparent with a shadowed overlay. It’s another nice change of pace, especially since the theme added in the last update—Classic 80s—was a bit too similar to the standard PAC-MAN 256 map to feel quite as new.
If you purchase The Grid soon enough, it’s available as part of a special offer for the next 48 hours: the cost is still 99 cents, but you’ll get The Grid theme; 1,024 coins; eight “instant upgrades” for your power-ups (which skip the upgrade timer); and a new power-up, Beam.
This latter feature alone is reason enough to hit the “buy” button: Beam is similar to Laser or Optics in that it shoots out a laser beam that destroys all ghosts in its path. However, Beam’s laser shoots in both directions vertically and it goes through walls. This means unless you’re unluckily trapped in a single row with every ghost on screen, Beam Pac-Man is probably going to tear it up. It’s easily one of the most powerful abilities in the game and once purchased, you don’t have to “unlock” it with power pellets—it’s available for use immediately.
In case that’s not enough goodies for a single update (it is), there’s now iCloud support, and random abilities you don’t even have unlocked will sometimes appear on-screen. For instance, we haven’t unlocked Radar yet, but a Radar power-up materialized in front of us mid-game last run. (That’s not even an official part of the update, it’s just something that started happening and is awesome.)
Update PAC-MAN 256 today to try out the Crossy Road theme and snag the Beam and Grid special offer for 99 cents.