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Bally Astrocade Muncher

Updated 5 March 2023

I'm always on the lookout for interesting and unique versions of classic titles. One such game that caught my eye recently is Muncher, a Pac-Man clone released for the Bally Astrocade console in the early 1980s. With Pac-Man being such an iconic game, it's no surprise that it inspired countless imitators and clones, but I was curious to see how Muncher stacked up against the original and other variations. In this article, we'll take a closer look at Muncher and its place in the pantheon of Pac-Man clones.


The original Pacman arcade game was released in the United States in 1980 by Midway games, and went on to be a social phenomenon. No home arcade machine in the 1980s was comlete without a Pacman clone in their collection, from the Atari 2600, Commodore C64 to the IBM PC. There is a C|Net article published in 1998 that blissfully describes the various Pac-Man styles available.

There are claims posted on atariage.com that Munchie was released under various names such as Pacmen and No-Die. This was attributed to litigation actions at that time. Needless to say, hardcore Astrocade collectors look to assemble all variations of this game to complete their round out their inventory.

History of Bally Astrocade

The Bally Astrocade, also known as the Bally Professional Arcade, is a home video game console that was released in 1977. It was one of the early home microcomputers that were designed primarily for playing video games. The Astrocade was notable for its advanced graphics and sound capabilities for its time. It was also one of the few consoles of its era that allowed users to program their own games and applications.

The Astrocade was sold as a complete system that included the console, two joysticks, a set of paddles, and a basic cartridge that provided a programming language and a set of simple games. Additional games and programming tools were sold separately on cartridges. The system also had expansion ports for adding peripherals such as a printer, a cassette tape drive, and a modem.

Astrocade PacMan clones

The Bally Astrocade was a popular home computer system during the late 1970s and early 1980s. During this time, many clones of popular arcade games were developed for the system, including Pac-Man. These clones were often created by independent developers and hobbyists, and they were typically not licensed by the original game's creator.

One of the most well-known Pac-Man clones for the Astrocade was Muncher, which was developed by Astrocade programmer Ron Picardi. Muncher featured similar gameplay to the original Pac-Man, with players navigating a maze while avoiding enemies and collecting dots. However, Muncher added some unique elements, such as power-ups and different maze layouts, to distinguish itself from the original game.

There were more PacMan clones for the Astrocade. Other Pac-Man clones for the Astrocade included Galactic Invasion, which featured a space-themed twist on the classic gameplay, and Ms. Candyman, which introduced a female protagonist and added new power-ups and enemies.

While these Pac-Man clones may not have been as popular as the original game, they were important in the development of the home computer gaming industry and helped to establish the Astrocade as a viable gaming platform.

Astrocade Muncher Gameplay

There are a few notable differences in the Astrocade version of Pac-Man, called Muncher. Firstly, the graphics are quite different from the original Pac-Man game. The maze is wider and the colors are more subdued. The ghosts have different colors as well. In addition, the gameplay is slightly different, with the ghosts moving faster and the power pellets not lasting as long. There are also only 12 levels in Muncher, compared to the 255 levels in the original Pac-Man. Despite these differences, Muncher still retains the addictive gameplay that made Pac-Man such a classic.

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Muncher Magazine Advertisment

We were lucky enough to find a partial advertisement that is claimed to be a magazine advertisment for Astrocade Munch. Our problem is that this image looks too good, even arcade quality. The Astrocade Muncher version looks good but the machine lacks the resolution required to drawer the little munchers. As the source of the advertisment is not known, we can not verify if this an advertisment for Muncher or some other Pac-Man edition.

Bally Astrocade Mucher Advertisment

Acknowledgement: Source unknown. This image is a reproduction of a vintage advertisement. The brand(s) and advertisement is not specifically endorsed on webpage by their respective owner(s). This reproduction is shown for historical preservation purposes. All brands and trademarks are owned by their respctive owner(s).

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