Video Game Cover Up – Pac-Man Clones


When it comes to iconic video game characters, perhaps the earliest one to come to mind is the little yellow pizza-inspired circle Pac-Man. His arcade game is a classic, the franchise has continued to this day. And like any success: it’s been cloned to death.

Perhaps the earliest example of “me too!” game design, Pac-Man is one of the earliest games to ever fall victim to developers going “well, I can release this too!” and puking out half-assed, uninspired wannabe versions. Maybe some of these are alright games, but you’ll doubtfully ever play them ’cause just about every one of them has atrocious cover art. Marketing 101: Don’t make your game horrible before people even play it.

Don’t believe me? Let’s dive into the lovely world of Pac-Man clones and their hilariously bad, sometimes terrifying, cover art!

ghost chaserGhost Chaser is somewhat of an enigma. Very little information on it exists, and it seems to be pretty unheard of. Perhaps it’s an unlicensed title. However, the cover art DOES exist. And it’s hilarious. Instead of ghosts, Pac-Man Blue… Guy… appears to be chasing a large glob of ketchup.

With guns.

That’s what Pac-Man was missing! Dual-wielding six shooters! What are you going to do? Gun down a ghost? I’m not even sure if there is shooting in the actual game, all I know is that the prospect of a blue sphere with arms shooting at me is infinitely intimidating. Also, I’m not even entirely sure that guns would fire in the vastness of outer-fucking-space! As though scientific realism matters at all at this point…

Munch_Man_CoverartMunchman is what would happen if you took Pac-Man and made him look like a sexual predator. And also if you put him into the TRON universe, apparently. My favorite part of this cover, besides his “I have an erection” facial expression, is the fact his enemies appear to be deadly, ultra-terrifying… geometrical shapes! THAT BLUE CONE WILL FUCK YOUR SHIT UP!

And one more time for added effect:

'Ey Gurl!

‘Ey Gurl! Wanna Pack Muh Man And Gobble Muh White Dots?!

As if that wasn’t terrifying enough, we have this disaster…

post-6135-0-73215100-1344004368I’m not sure what it is about, *cough*, “Dot Gobbler” that makes me so uncomfortable. Perhaps its the fact he has very toned legs with chubby thighs. Perhaps it’s the mischievous eyes and pudgy pink cheeks. Maybe it’s the fact he seems entirely too happy about shoving marbles in his face and running from ghosts.

No, wait… I figured it out. It’s because he looks like every racist Disney cartoon from the 1930s… those aren’t ghosts he’s running from, they’re clan members!

'Ey Gurl!

Wanna Come Gobble MUH DOTS Mr. Chubby Thighs!

But let’s keep the ball rollin’… and gobbling dots… with what appear to be fuzzy aliens!

kc-munchkinK.C. Munchkin! would be bad enough just showing these way-too-happy-for-comfort furry alien things, but what really drives this one home is the tagline…

“How many Munchies can your Munchkin munch before your Munchkin’s all munched out?????”

Where do I even BEGIN?! How about the use of not one, not three, but FIVE question marks. This is a really important inquiry. This isn’t just a question, it’s an urgent matter that needs to be solved! We really need to know how many… Munchies… your Munchkin can… ugh.

And is it just me or does “Munched Out” sound entirely too much like a euphemism for oral sex?

Hey Baby

‘Ey Sweetcheeks, Wanna Be ALL MUNCHED OUT?!

There seems to be a pattern here. All Pac-Man clones are apparently built around the basis that Pac-Man is immensely creepy. And possibly a pervert. Let’s see what the next clone brings…


I’m not even touching that one. Dear God. Someone DREW THAT. A human being with hopes and dreams and ambitions, possibly a family, drew that. THAT. Just…


I hope you weren’t planning on sleeping anytime soon.

I'mma Leave Muh Jelly Monster On UR FACE, GURL.

I’mma Leave Muh Jelly Monster On UR FACE, GURL.

Man, these games are terrible and everything about them is crap. You might as well just cut out the middle man and call your Pac-Man clone “Shit”.

ohshitjOh… well this is awkward.

This is one of the covers for “Oh Shit” a Pac-Man clone. BUT… it has one catch. When your character dies, a bad soundbite kicks in and says “OH SHIT!”. Which is an appropriate response to being straight up murdered by a ghost. This cover art tells you absolutely nothing about the game, it’s just scary as all hell.

Also, I didn’t know that the Michael J. Fox movie “The Frighteners” was actually just a movie adaption of “Oh Shit!”. Though “Shit” would have been an appropriate title for that film as well…

I Suck For Remembering This Movie...

I Suck For Remembering This Movie…

Let’s drive this home with one more cover art for “Oh Shit!”. Maybe a different cover captured the game’s awesomeness more.



At least “OH SHIT!” fits more with the image of a disembodied bear head attempting to eat what appear to be red and white blood cells. This is what hepatitis looks like under a microscope, folks.

I'mma Leave Muh Jelly Monster On UR FACE, GURL.

OH SHIT… It’s Chris Hanson!

But sometimes, one or two bad cover-arts for a game just aren’t enough. That’s where Lock ‘n’ Chase comes into play. It doesn’t have just ONE terrible cover art. It has fucking FOUR OF THEM!

585790_3189_frontThis one is the least horrible of the four. It’s even kind of cute and charming. I do, however, like the look of concern on the moon’s face. Which is a sentence I can never untype.

rubon16793_1If you ever wondered what it would look like if you put a fedora on your orange…

These just don’t have the impact I was hoping for, let’s move on to the third cover…

ad-locknchase-intellivisionAH, now this is more like it. That may be the most dapper thief I’ve ever seen. Not sure why someone with a bitchin’ jacket with coat-tails and a lovely top hat would need to be pilfering bags of cash, but I feel as though there is a “the 1%” joke to be made here. In fact, I think this may have been re-purposed as a poster for Occupy Wall Street…

lock-002Oh it just keeps getting better! The faces these guys are making are incredible. First off, let’s talk about how incredibly happy the police and thief appear to be in that arrest picture…

LOL Stealing!

LOL Stealing!

Wait a second… WHY DOES HE HAVE A FUCKING CAMERA?! That just escalated this to a whole ‘nother level of uncomfortable…

Don't Mind That Camera-Shutter Noise. Just Keep Showering...

Don’t Mind That Camera-Shutter Noise. Just Keep Showering…

And can we please address the ineptitude of the police here?

Insert Benny Hill Theme Here

Insert Benny Hill Theme Here

I call this piece “COPS – London Edition!”

So kudos, Lock ‘n’ Chase, you impress me with the variety of your awkward cover art!





Sadly, it’s not even just Pac-Man CLONES that have gotten the terrible cover art treatment. Would you believe that even Pac-Man itself has fallen victim to unfortunate art?

pacmanIf you ever wondered what Pac-Man would look like as a tall, lanky puberty-suffering teenager, there you go. And if you ever wondered what it’d look like if a ghost licked it’s chops while chasing said teenager, you’re double-covered by this artwork. Pac-Man seriously needs to invest in a bigger pair of shorts, he is one false step from his power pellets falling out…

So there you have it, friends. A museum of Pac-Man clones that proves one thing and one thing only: Apparently every developer in the 80s viewed Pac-Man as a pedophile!

Who knew there was so much context behind the classic arcade game!




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