Pro tip: Killing a Friday

For most of you that work a traditional 5-day work week, your motivation can roughly be summed up by this graph.

So at about 4:00 on Friday (or whatever your equivalent of a Friday is), unless your building has caught fire, you're probably not going to get a whole lot done.

Now, your may remember that on April 1st of this year, Google replaced their logo with an interactive version of Pac-Man.

What does this have to do with 4:00 on Fridays?

Well, it happens that the logo-thing was so popular that Google made it accessible all year round. And that means that you can play a quick round of Pac-Man, legally, in your browser here.

Just don't tell the boss!

Pro tip: Why some things are worth 7650 points in Pac-Man games

While playing through Pac-Mania, I noticed that the point values while eating the ghosts seemed to take a fairly normal progression: 200, 400, 800, 1600, etc. Getting a little further, though, and they took a strange turn

They started to be worth 7650 points. Which was odd, I thought. This score popped up in a couple of other Pac-Man games, too, and it made me think that there had to be something to it.

And I was right.

I was able to determine that this is a form of Japanese wordplay called 'Goroawase' in which you use the phonetic pronunciations of a string of numbers (which can apparently have multiple pronunciations in Japanese) to make them sound kind of like other words. So breaking down our 7650 could yield:

7 = NA
6 = MU
5 = KO
0 = O

Or "NA-MU-KO-O", which sounds a whole lot like the company that put out the game: Namco.

And it's totally lost on 99.9% of the non-Japanese video game world... until now.

You can learn more about Goroawase here.

Pro tip: taking corners faster in Pac-Man

Take a look at this screen shot from Pac-Man.

Specifically look up at the pink monster, you'll notice that its eyes (which indicate which direction it's moving) are angled down when it's not quite to the intersection yet. Now, take a closer look at the game boundaries.

The boundaries are rounded, which might just seem like an aesthetic choice on the part of the designers, but it's also a tool you can use. Taking a cue from the monsters you should try to press the direction you want to go before you get to the intersections. That way you can round the corner a fraction of a second faster than you would if you waited until you were in the middle of the intersection.

And in those higher levels, a fraction of a second can mean the difference between clearing the maze and putting in another quarter to start over from the beginning.

Pro tip: Pac-Man's safe spot (a.k.a. his Happy Place)

You all know Pac-Man, the little guy that eats the dots in the mazes. His games are pretty tough, and they don't give you much of a chance to breathe.... Unless you know a little something about it.

There is one safe location in the maze, but the thing is, it's not always safe. It's the little area just to the right and up from where you begin each board.

Now, in order for that to be safe, you have to enter it while all the monsters are looking away from you. If they don't see you go in, they can't find you. It's kind of tough to keep your eyes on five points in the maze at the same time, but it is doable. You'll know that you did it correctly if you sit there for more than a few minutes and the monsters don't eat you. They kind of go in this repeating pattern of wandering aimlessly around (although they do come perilously close to your hidey-hole).

I was able to sit there for ten minutes before I went on to something else, but you could stay there for a lot longer if you want.

Syndicate content