I wasn’t sure what to do for this week’s report and although posting late the distractions of the week may have kept me from having a report at all. Then I saw this reading of a very lame Pac-Man joke book. For those of you who didn’t click on the link, the Pac-Mania joke book is mostly the same image of Pac-Man with some minor changes to it to match whatever horrible pun he just wrote. It’s kind of like an art class practice session or one of those puzzle pages where they ask you to finish the image. You can see the host die a little bit with each page he looks at. Still, it inspired me to drag this out late last night.

Pac-Man Riddle & Joke Book

The Pac-Man Riddle And Joke Book, written and drawn my Mike Thaler and published by Pocket Book subsidiary Archway, had to be something I picked up at a school book fair. There’s another video game joke book I’ll review next week but this is the one I was reminded of after watching the video. Instead of the same stale image with some minor tweaking every image is new and while a few of the same jokes actually popped up there are a lot of things that make this a lot funnier.

Pac-Man Riddle & Joke Book1

Right on the first page the Big Pac pun worked better because it was part of a theme. This section was about favorite and the puns are all Pac-Man but also the dots, the thing you eat in the game. There’s more variety to the puns than just “Pac”.

Pac-Man Riddle & Joke Book2

I was only going to do one sample page per section but I like that Donkey Kong reference. It worked better than one that comes later, where Pac-Man just happens to be in the Donkey Kong game.

Pac-Man Riddle & Joke Book3

Answers at the end of the article.

Then you have this part that comes up a couple of times, where the reader gets to guess the pun. That’s where the riddle part comes in, I guess.

Pac-Man Riddle & Joke Book4

This is followed by the weaker of two stories; not that the other story was all that better, but I give Thaler credit for variety in the book. Here Pac-Man just leaves the arcade and goes around eating dot-shaped objects. The last few pages have him finally eating all the fruit on a fruit stand and escaping a cop through a small tunnel, then going off to have more adventures. This is never followed up on in the second tale. I like how people and a cheetah seem unfazed by Pac-Man until he eats the dots on their outfits or the circus strongman’s dumbbells.

Pac-Man Riddle & Joke Book5

After this set of celebrities as Pac-Man we get more of the same kinds of jokes from before and then the second story, featuring the origin of Pac-Man. If you’ve heard the actual origin of Pac-Man (how the idea came after the creator saw a slice of pizza missing and the shape resembled a mouth) this isn’t it.

Pac-Man Riddle & Joke Book6

Instead Pac-Man is a cheesecake who didn’t want to get eaten. I’m not sure if this irony or not. Maybe that’s why the ghosts keep eating him, because he tastes like cheesecake? More of the usual pun jokes follow but then this happens.

Pac-Man Riddle & Joke Book7

So Thaler is suggesting the dots are alive? There are some dot puns later that indicate that’s what he’s saying. So they all sit there in the maze waiting to be eaten? They don’t run or anything? Is the fruit dropped in hoping to fill Pac-Man up? Are the ghosts protecting the dots from being eaten? Where do the Energizers that allow Pac-Man to temporarily eat the ghosts come into play? What’s going on? This is too deep for this game, man!

Pac-Man Riddle & Joke Book8

There’s only one more page of this one. I’m not sure what flapper Ms. Pac-Man was doing but I think she needs to eat something.

Pac-Man Riddle & Joke Book 9

I like how the ghosts get their own joke section as well. Again, there’s variety in what they do here, keeping the book fresh. There’s even 2 sets of knock-knock jokes.

Pac-Man Riddle & Joke Book 10

I didn’t say they were good ones. Yeah, they weren’t the best jokes, at least not for older gamers but I liked it well enough as a kid. The book is pretty well read. Still, the one we’ll look at next week was funnier. This I may keep around for the nostalgia factor.

Answers from the third image:

  1. A half Pac
  2. An Ice Pac
  3. A green Pac
  4. A back Pac
  5. A six Pac
  6. A rat Pac