Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade, Battle Royale
Developer: Amber Studio
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Tested on: Switch

Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs – Review

Site Score
Good: Basic idea was good...
Bad: ...but the execution falls short in pretty much every aspect
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(1 votes)
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Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)

There was a time when Pac-Man was up there with Mario and Sonic as one of the most famous and recognizable video game characters. Unlike the mustachioed plumber and the blue hedgehog, however, Pac-Man hasn’t managed to really stay at the same level of mainstream consciousness, mainly because of a lack of game releases that weren’t simply re-releases. Even the subject of today’s review, Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs is a re-release, although the original release was on a platform obscure enough that you may have missed it. Now, if you’re wondering exactly what you’ve missed out on, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at Chomp Champs.


Aside from a couple of cartoon shows, the Pac-Man franchise has never been a story-driven affair. Couple this lack of fleshed-out series narrative with Chomp Champs’ nature as an online battle royale game, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there is nothing to be found here in terms of story.


It’s obvious that Chomp Champs debuted as a Stadia title (more on that later), as the game outright looks like a mobile game. It’s not the most impressive-looking title, but it’s fine for what it needs to be. There are a ton of unlockable cosmetics too, allowing you to at least imbue your own yellow ball with some kind of personality. Unfortunately, the game’s visual performance isn’t all that good, despite the overall simplicity of the game’s graphics. The game’s frame rate is abysmal, and given the game’s multiplayer nature, stutter and lag ultimately affect the overall enjoyment too.


In terms of audio, things aren’t all that impressive either, although this element is serviceable at least. The sound effects are the classic ones you all know and love from any Pac-Man title of the last four decades, and they’re fine. The soundtrack remixes the classic Pac-Man theme into something that is okay, but not exactly memorable. Voice acting is absent, of course.


Before we truly dig into what Chomp Champs has to offer, we should point out that it’s a small miracle that the game is on modern platforms in the first place. It was originally developed for Google Stadia as Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle, and debuted way back in 2020. When the Google Stadia service was shut down, it seemed like that was it for the game. Pac-Man fans on the Switch could still enjoy some online battle royale Pac-Man action with the free-to-play Pac-Man 99, until the online service for that game was shut down in 2023. Now, we won’t be outright comparing Chomp Champs to Pac-Man 99, but rumor has it that Chomp Champs’ resurrection as a paid title on other platforms was the reason that the former title was discontinued. That’s because Chomp Champs’ core gameplay is very similar to that of Pac-Man 99, although it adds new elements into the mix. The foundation of the game is something you all know and love: it’s the classic Pac-Man formula, which sees you navigate a maze, eating up dots and avoiding ghosts. However, Chomp Champs adds a slew of new power-ups and allows you to move into the mazes of other players and even gobble them up. It’s a cool idea in theory, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired, unfortunately.

The idea is simple: you’re facing off against 63 other players as you complete simple tasks, like ‘visit x mazes’ or ‘eat up x players’, while also engaging in classic Pac-Man gameplay. As the game progresses, players end up eliminated, and the last one standing wins. There are different modes here, but we couldn’t tell you the difference between them, as they all seemed to play identically. We should also note that there is a severe lack of players, as most of our opponents ended up being CPU-controlled, even with cross-play turned on. With it being this early in the game’s lifespan, this doesn’t spell good things for Chomp Champs’ longevity. The biggest issue here is that the game is online only, meaning you won’t be able to simply grab your friends for couch party play, and that the game’s performance heavily relies on not just your connection but that of other players as well. Frame drops and latency issues were common, and there were instances where ghosts suddenly glitched to different parts of the screen or where Pac-Man suddenly rushed forward when this wasn’t our intention. There also doesn’t seem to be a mechanic that drives players towards one another, and most of the time, we were the only active Pac-Man on screen. In fact, there were times when the game suddenly told us that we’d won, in the most anticlimactic way possible, likely because a ghost eliminated the last other CPU player off-screen.

This would be excusable if these were simply teething issues and if the game’s price tag was reasonable, but asking for $19.99 for something like this feels like a downright middle finger, and that’s without even mentioning the cosmetic paid DLC. Yes, there are unlockable outfits, but these are the more generic kind, and if you want to decorate your maze or your own Pac-Man with Namco-themed outfits, you’re going to need to shell out real money. Given the game’s overall lack of meaningful content, though, we can’t imagine anyone but the most die-hard Pac-Man fans paying for these, let alone unlocking the “free” ones. The lack of active players removes any feeling of excitement, as the CPU AI simply doesn’t pose a challenge. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that Chomp Champs is… boring. There certainly wasn’t anything here that motivated us to keep playing, and we felt like we’d seen everything the game had to offer after only a handful of matches.


If it wasn’t clear by now, we weren’t fans of Chomp Champs. The idea behind a Pac-Man battle royale is fine, but the game’s underwhelming execution leaves a lot to be desired. The game’s performance isn’t up to snuff with what it should be, the audiovisual presentation is so-so, and the gameplay loses its appeal after a few runs. If Chomp Champs had an actual player base, things might have been more interesting in the long run, but as it stands, we can’t see Chomp Champs surviving until the end of the year in the first place.

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Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs - Review, 1.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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