The Pacman Game was developed by Namco and licensed for distribution in the USA by Midway, first released in Japan in 1979.
When Pac Man was released, most arcade video games in North America were primarily space shooters such as Space Invaders and Defender or Asteroids. The Pacman Game is often credited with being a landmark in video game history, and is among the most famous arcade games of all time.
The player controls Pacman as he moves through a maze, eating pac-dots. When all dots are eaten, Pacman is taken to the next stage. 4 ghosts roam the maze, trying to catch Pac-Man. If a ghost touches Pacman, a life is lost. When all lives have been lost, the Pacman game ends. During Pacman gameplay, lives are usually lost by "digging your own grave"; it is easy to situate Pac-Man within the maze so that escape from the ghosts is impossible.