Akaw-akaw-akaw-akaw... That's the sound of Nam-Cap, an innovative retro arcade game from Studio Piña. Billed as an arcade cabinet imported from an alternate universe, Nam-Cap takes the familiar concept of Pac-Man and turns it backwards in many ways.
You play Nam-Cap, the titular heroine. Use the [arrow] keys to navigate the maze, leaving a trail of dots behind yourself. Your goal in each level is to fill the whole maze with dots (as opposed to consuming them all, obviously), but two catches make this task substantially difficult. The first catch is that the heart in the center of the maze will shrink as you lay dots, and if it disappears completely you can lay no more.
You can prolong or recover your dot-dropping privileges by catching one of the four kings that also wander the maze, forcing it to scramble back home to recover its crown. (Why kings instead of ghosts? I'm guessing it's so the spiky part can be at the top instead of the bottom.) However, that's where the second catch comes in: when you catch a king you leave a small heart behind, and if a king nabs that heart poor Nam-Cap will be temporarily weakened, not only unable to create dots but erasing every dot she passes over! Get caught while weakened by a king or at any time by the level-specific baddie, and you lose a life; lose all your lives and that's all she wrote.
The thing most people overlook about creating something set in an alternate universe is that it has to make sense within that universe, ignoring our own. Nam-Cap is a little uneven in that area; seeing the kill screen at the very beginning of the game is just odd, but on the other hand, "Work Began" as a substitute for "Game Over" makes sense because once you're done gaming, it's time to get to work. The developers might have just gotten lucky there, though.
But that's not what matters to us; what matters is how fun the game is, and this game is definitely fun. Despite the reversal, Nam-Cap captures everything that made Pac-Man entertaining, from the alternating pursuit towards and from the four other parties in the maze to the panic when you thought you'd finished the level but really there's one little spot of the maze you haven't gotten to yet. There are even little cartoons between some levels, like in the original arcade Pac-Man, although they make slightly less sense because they're attempted direct adaptions. The game has its inherent flaws, like confusion about what needs to be covered in dots and what doesn't, but those are easily overlooked in an otherwise entertaining game.
Are you ready? Excuse me... are you ABLE??