Pac-Man 256's general rules reflect that of Pac-Man, so you can eat power pellets to munch down ghosts and increase your score. However, there are a number of power-ups that also come in handy over the course of the game, which become unlocked over time. Here's what you need to know about Pac-Man 256's power-ups…
Shaped like a giant ice cube, this will enable you to freeze ghosts in their place for several seconds while you whizz by unharmed. Your best bet is to avoid them as the freeze is on, unless you munch down a power pellet in Pac-Man 256. In that case, eat to your heart's content until it runs out.
You'll want to save to use this power-up until you become surrounded by ghosts, because its explosion radius is big enough to take out all enemies within your zone. Wait till you get close to a group of them, then come into contact with one in Pac-Man 256. BOOM!
This is akin to the Super Pac-Man power-up where you can enlarge in size and basically run roughshod over those ghosts. Again, try to wait until you see a lot of them in your way, then activate the power-up and have a field day running them over in Pac-Man 256.
This is a pretty basic power-up, where you set yourself ablaze and torch everything you touch, including ghosts. Save it for when you absolutely need it, or just want to clear a path with the "kill screen" slowly moving behind you.
Similar to fire, but with much bigger effects, as flames shoot out with each path you follow, so whatever's in your way automatically gets torched. Try to save this, again, for when there are a lot of ghosts in your way, or you just need to move up quickly in Pac-Man 256.
This is a continuous beam that fires in front of Pac-Man for several seconds and fries every ghost in its path. This is great if you're trying to eliminate multiple ghosts at once in Pac-Man 256.
Similar to Laser, Optics works way better, as you're able to shoot out lasers that go past the length of a lane and then reflect around corners. They'll clear out the area in a hurry, so go wild and make sure you shoot in all directions.
Finally, there's this better variation of the Bomb, with a much bigger explosion radius that hurts any ghosts that aren't just in the zone, but go running into it, after just a few seconds. It's a great way to keep yourself safe for a few seconds, but don't sit still for too long.
Good luck, and make good use of your power-ups!
Be sure to check out our general Pac-Man 256 Guide and Tipsas well!