Texet Grabman GM-116

Texet Grabman GM-116

The world was first introduced to Pacman in 1980 and it didn’t take long before the game and its characters began appearing everywhere.

From board games to music, tv shows to air fresheners, everyone was doing the Pacman. And handheld versions of the classic game were being produced in droves!

Only one (that I know of) made it to a calculator though — the TEXET GM-116 Grabman calculator.

There was a non-calculator version too, the GM-16 (and possibly others).

The GM-116 calculator has some good and bad features.

First the good — there are two games, Amateur and Professional. They are identical except the Professional has three ghosts chasing you instead of two which makes things quite a bit harder.

It’s a fairly faithful reproduction of the game, particularly considering the constraints of the screen size and available memory. You have power pills AND a bonus to collect along with the standard pills.

There’s a halt button which, unlike 99.9% of handheld games, lets you pause the game if you need a break or (I suspect) more likely that your teacher was approaching when you were playing this in class!

There’s a clock too which you can have displaying with a demo version of the game, or just the clock on its own.

To the bad, though, if you turn the calculator off the clock not only goes off, it has reset to 12:00:00 when you turn it back on.

Worse, though, is the game which only lets you eat pellets, ghosts and bonuses while moving from right-to-left (the direction Pacman is always facing). If you run over anything going left-to-right nothing happens unless, of course, it’s a ghost that appears next to you then one of your three lives has gone.

It’s a bit clunky, but no worse than many other pacman clones and it’s both a rare and sought-after item. It doesn’t often appear for sale and, when it does, is usually pretty beaten-up.

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