Pac-Man 256 Is An Endless Runner Pursued By Dreaded Map 256 Glitch

You have our utmost respect if you've ever run into the "Map 256 Glitch" in Pac-Man. The show stopping bug thwarted even the best Pac-Man players with an impossible to beat level, and it's also the theme of Bandai Namco's newest Pac-Man title -- yes, another Pac-Man game! -- Pac-Man 256 available for iOS, Android, and Amazon devices.

Let's back up a moment. Also known as the split-screen level or kill screen, the Map 256 Glitch occurred when Pac-Man players made it to level 256. At issue is the level counter being stored as an 8-bit integer, so it could only store 256 values (0-255), with the highest value possible being 255. Reaching level 256 in Pac-Man would cause an integer overflow and, because the way it was programmed, the game would attempt to draw 256 fruits. This resulted in the right half of the board being replaced by a mess of letters and symbols, rendering the level impossible to beat.

Pac-Man 256

With the help of Hipster Whale, Bandai Namco has brought the glitch back and made it into a new Pac-Man title for the game's 35th anniversary. In Pac-Man 256, you're again tasked with chomping pellets, but it's an endless board in which you have to stay ahead of the glitch as it consumes the board from the bottom up.

"Players can expect to encounter plenty of Pac-Dots, Power Pellets, and the notorious ghost ensemble: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde," Bandai Namco says. "Pac-Man 256 will also feature coins, power-ups, and more to spice up the thrilling pursuit."

There are over 20 power-ups in the new title, including Laser, Tornado, and Giant. There are also in-app purchases, a modern day concept that's scarier than any level glitch, though you can play for free for as long as you want without power-ups. Otherwise, you'll need to use credits, which you can earn by watching ads, purchase outright, or have replenished by waiting for a set period of time. Alternately, you can shell out $7.99 for unlimited credits.

You can grab Pac-Man 256 for iOS here, Android here, and Amazon here.