It is a pseudo-3D interpretation of the classic maze game genre and features most elements of the original Pac-Man, as well as several new features. The lovable ghosts now glide through the air. Dots and energizer pellets hang in midair. Pac-Man gets a new power: He can jump up and over ghosts! There's also a Pac Booster feature that lets you move Pac-Man at super-speed. You'll love the new challenging mazes - they come in so many mind-boggling shapes, they'll turn you into a certified Pac-Maniac! Apart from the regular Dotty pills the maze also contains several larger pills of various colors. There are always four yellow ones that power ups Pac Man and make him mean giving him the ability to eat the ghosts for a short period of time (taken from the original 2D classic). Of course there are various other power-up pills (of different color) to collect during your quest!
Pac-mania is an excellent game to play, indeed, but the gameplay suffers badly as you cannot see the ghosts approaching due to the Atari ST's significantly small gameplay area here (176x200 pixels)!
The Atari ST conversion is technically good but, due to the system's graphics hardware limitations, several features of the original cute graphics and innovative level design are missing here. The stage details look quite similar to the Amiga and Archimedes conversions but are mostly grey colored here (except for the sprites), whilst the off-gameplay area has extra colors giving an overall of 16 colors on screen (gameplay area uses 8 colors, while the status panel uses 8 extra). Only the Pac-Man character and the cute ghosts are in color! Also a significant difference with the Amiga (and Archimedes) is that, the gameplay area on the ST is significantly smaller, probably due to the lack of a Blitter chip on the earlier ST models and thus he inability to scroll large portions of background layer (due to the pseudo-3D effect here) and the entire screen here had to be re-drawn whenever Pac-man moves! I think that if this game used the extra specs of an STE hardware such as the Blitter chip, it would be identical to the other two 16bit systems. Note that the the Sharp X68000 conversion is identical to the original and superior, of course, to any other 16bit home-computer conversion.
Sonically, the game offers the original great tune plus numerous sounds FX, but slightly inferior in quality to the Amiga and the Archimedes computers.