Activity | Urban Pac-Man
Explorer Scout Leader Ian Wilkins explains this brilliant combination of wide game and scavenger hunt. Get prepping now for the warmer weekends ahead...
A classic with a twist
Pac-Man is an iconic arcade game from the 1980s where the player controls a hungry yellow dot with a big mouth, manoeuvring him through a maze filled with pac-dots while he tries to eat as many as possible and avoid the four ghosts chasing him.
In Urban Pac-Man, the streets become the maze while Scouts take on the roles of Pac-Man and the ghosts, separating into teams and using arm bands to identify which team they’re on. Leaders and volunteers affix homemade pac-dots to benches, railings and other street furniture in the designated playing area, avoiding road signs. The location of the pac-dots can be plotted on a map, which can then be photocopied and distributed to the Scouts to help them in their quest. The game is best played in a local neighbourhood or estate.
You’ll need to make:
• laminated double-sided armbands (one for each player), with Pac-Man on one side and a ghost on the other
• laminated single-sided armbands (one for each leader or adult volunteer), with a picture of a ‘power fruit’ on
• laminated series of round, numbered cards, with two holes punched in the edges. These are the ‘pac-dots’
Each team of two or three Scouts needs:
• a digital camera or a camera phone
• double-sided Pac-Man/ghost armbands
• photocopy of local area map with the locations of pac-dots marked on it
How to play
Scouts form teams of two or three. Teams must stick together and wear their armbands throughout. Half start as Pac-Man, half as ghosts. The aim of the game for each Pac-Man team is to take pictures of as many different pac-dots as possible. The ghosts search for the Pac-Man teams and try to get a picture of them. If a ghost team photographs a Pac-Man team, they should then go in search of another team – leaving the Pac-Man team free to hunt for pac-dots.
Scouts can roam the playing area with power fruit armbands, which they put on at random. Any Pac-Man teams that encounter a leader wearing a power fruit armband can take a photo of them. The game should last about 40 minutes, with the teams switching roles halfway through; so ghosts reverse their armbands to become Pac-Man, and vice versa. The winners are the team with the most pac-dot photos. Bonus points are awarded for photos of leaders with power fruits, and to ghost teams for photos of Pac-Man teams.
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