Ms. Pacman is the sequel to the immensely popular Pacman. The gameplay is identical to its forerunner, but the former hero of the game is replaced by his girlfriend, complete with a bow on top of her head.
The gameplay follows the same simple format: all you have to do is eat all the dots on the maze to proceed to the next screen. There is a major difference here from Pacman in that there are three different maze layouts and these appear on screens 1,3 and 6. Each maze layout has one or more sections in it where you can get trapped at either end by the ghosts, so the layouts are that bit more challenging.
Ms. Pacman as usual has a form of retaliation against the ghosts. There are 4 powerpills (larger dots) in the 4 corners of the maze, and eating one of these powerpills turns the ghosts blue. While the ghosts are blue Ms. Pacman can eat them for extra points. Their vulnerability is limited though, as they begin to flash blue and white after a short time (which decreases on later screens) before returning to their original colours, when contact once again is fatal.
Each screen has two horizontal tunnels which can be used as a shortcut between the left and right hand sides of the screen, and the ghosts move slower than Ms. Pacman through the tunnel.
Bonus items appear on each screen, but these are not static. They bounce around the maze and can be eaten for bonus points.
An extra life is awarded for 10,000 points.
Dot: 10 points.
Powerpill: 50 points.
Ghost: 200, 400, 800, 1,600 points.
Bonus Items: Cherry: 100, Strawberry: 300, Apricot: 500, Pretzel: 700, Apple: 1,000, Pear: 2,000, Banana: 5,000 points.
Game difficulty can be set to Normal or Hard (default is normal).
Extra life can be set to 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 or never (default is 10,000).
Starting lives can be set to 1, 2, 3 or 5 (default is 3).
Speedup cheat can be set to on or off (default is off).
The time given by powerpills to kill the ghosts decreases on each maze. After each intermission screen the time increases slightly, but you will finally end up on a maze where there is no time to kill the ghosts, and the powerpills only make them reverse direction.
Maze 255, as on Pacman, will be corrupted with a split-screen effect, unless maze 254 is completed with the numbers "255" in the score. The right hand half of the screen will be filled with graphic characters, making the maze unplayable. This is due to the 8-bit code storing the maze number, and the makers of the game assuming no one would ever get that far!