In 1980 Namco’s Pac-Man was a smash hit in arcades and of course there was a desire to cash in through the new home console market. Unfortunately for Magnavox the Atari company secured exclusive rights to create the first version of Pac-Man for the Atari2600. K.C. Munchkin! was an attempt by Magnavox to get a leg up by making a similar game on their system, the Odyssey2, that could be released first.
The resulting game has some really interesting differences including not only dots that move, but also the ability to for players to create their own maze for to navigate as they try to avoid or eat enemies. However, as it turned out K.C. Munchkin! was too similar to Pac-Man. The game immediately became the subject of a copyright infringement case which was decided in Atari’s favor; the first case to establish that a video game’s “expressive content” could be subject to copyright protection.
Come try it out and decide for yourself how similar the games are all this week at the RLB library! After playing, share a picture of yourself and your score on Facebook or Instagram and tag the RLB library. The player with the highest score at the end of the day on Friday will win a mystery game!