Pac-One

Everything you need to know about Pac-Man 99

Surprise! Nintendo Switch Online subscribers are getting a new battle royale game.

Nintendo Switch owners are getting a spring surprise. A new battle royale game called Pac-Man 99 is coming to Switch. As its name implied, the game turns the iconic Pac-Man into a mass-multiplayer elimination game.

The game is the latest in Nintendo’s series of retro battle royale titles offered exclusively to Nintendo Online subscribers. It borrows similar systems from Tetris 99 and Super Mario 35, but adapted to fit a round of Pac-Man. The big surprise is that players don’t have to wait long for the game; it’s launching immediately. Here’s when you can start playing and all the details you’ll need to start mastering it.

Pac-Man 99 release date and time

Pac-Man 99 launches in North America on Wednesday, April 7. Players can dive into it starting at 9 p.m. Eastern, a just 24 hours after it was announced. U.K. players have to wait a couple months longer — it won’t launch there until August 4.

Is there a trailer for Pac-Man 99?

There is! It explains everything you’ll need to know to get started. The thorough gameplay clip breaks down the game’s familiar features, like a Tetris 99-esque targeting system. It has some new tweaks as well that differentiate it. There’s a new power-up system that lets players boost stats like speed and power. The standard Pac-Man gameplay has been tweaked as well, with new mechanics that allow players to send “Pac-Man jammers” to an opponent’s board.

How much is Pac-Man 99?

If you’re a Nintendo Online subscriber, you won’t have to pay an extra dime for it. The game is bundled in with your subscription, so you’ll be able to download it from the eShop at no additional cost when it’s live.

The victory screen in Pac-Man 99.Nintendo

Unfortunately, there’s bad news for those who aren’t subscribed: the game is exclusive to Nintendo Online. If you’re not paying for the online service, you can’t play it, period. It’s the same strategy that Nintendo has used with previous battle royale games. While Pac-Man 99 does feature some offline content, it doesn’t appear that players will be able to access it without a subscription.

When does Pac-Man 99 leave the eShop?

After Nintendo removed Super Mario 35 from the eShop forever, fans might be worried that Pac-Man 99 will suffer the same fate. The good news is that the game has no end date. Like Tetris 99, Nintendo has no plans to get rid of the game down the line. You’ll be able to play as long as you have a Nintendo Online subscription … for now, at least.

What is Pac-Man 99’s paid DLC?

While Pac-Man 99 can be downloaded at no additional cost, it does feature some paid DLC. Players can grab different board themes based on classic Namco games for $2 each. That’s similar to Tetris 99’s system, though themes are free in that game.

The theme select screen in Pac-Man 99.Nintendo

Those who want some extra content can plop down $15 for a mode pack. This includes a CPU Vs. mode, password matches, time attack, and score attack options. The DLC features some additional themes and eight musical arrangements.

Those who really want to go all-in can buy a deluxe DLC pack for $30. It includes everything listed above, from modes to themes. In total, the pack adds 20 themes to the game.

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