The Game: You’re in charge of a getaway car loaded with crafty criminals. Your job is to sneak around the maze, avoid a bunch of cranky cops who are hot on your trail, and grab all the dough – and, of course, to escape so you can steal again another day. But the cops can trap you with a series of doors that can prevent you from getting away… (Data East, 1990)
Memories: After a quick “training” chase in a small maze – presumably in the vault while you’re making the big heist – the Game Boy version of Lock ‘N’ Chase is somewhat faithful to the original, even though it “zooms in” on the section of the maze surroundng your bank robber. However, while the original arcade game was an obvious attempt to get in on Pac-Man‘s maze-chase, dot-gobbling action without aping every aspect of the game, Lock ‘N’ Chase on the Game Boy makes the comparison obvious.
A diamond that appears at the center of the maze from time to time brings the Pac-comparison into sharp focus: grabbing it will allow you to temporarily put the cops out of service (though they quickly resume the chase from their respective corner). Had this feature been a part of the original arcade Lock ‘N’ Chase, lawyers might have posed a greater threat than cops and robbers.
That being said, it’s an interesting and rather fun twist on the game that doesn’t completely break it. As usual, I would’ve liked an option to play the original game with no added frills or alterations, but this’ll do. Lock ‘N’ Chase is an arcade classic that had already attained obscurity by the time it was revived for the Game Boy; now with Data East itself gone, we’re not likely to see it in any form again.