Kenta Cho, also known as ABAgames on Twitter and the web, has been at this for a good long while now. He has an amazing way of distilling the essence of gameplay down to its absolute barest essentials. He’s especially known for bullet hell, but my favorite games from him are his many many gameplay experiments. This is one of them: Pac-Man boiled down to its very essence, with the whole maze being a single corridor. It’s Paku Paku:
The single control, any keypress, reverse the direction of travel of Pac-Man’s green cousin up there. The single ghost chases Paku single-mindedly, slowly getting faster. Paku can wrap around the screen at the edge, which causes Blinky to chase them directly. (They’re not that bright.) Eating the large blinking dot that I insist on calling an Energizer makes the ghost vulnerable for a few short seconds. If the ghost is eaten, they regenerate if their eyes made it off the screen. Clearing the whole board of dots instantly produces a new set.
You only get one life, but new games start rapidly. The nearly five minute video above contains dozens of plays. No one gets you over losing and into a new attempt like Kenta Cho does.
Think you can do better? You might! Give it a try!
Paku Paku (Github, browser-playable link)