The Game: You’re in charge of a getaway car loaded with crafty criminals. Your job is to sneak around the maze, avoid four colorful 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, 1981)
Memories: Obviously, Lock ‘n’ Chase was yet another variation on the basic game play of Pac-Man, but in this case, just enough was changed to make it a discernably different new game, instead of just another clone. But even the most open-minded player could be forgiven for looking at the maze full of dots, populated by cutesy “cops,” and walking away, thinking, “Yep, it’s another Pirhana.”
I also have to draw attention to one of the cleverest methods I’ve ever seen a game use to keep track of the player’s remaining “lives.” This was very good – when the getaway car at the bottom of the screen was emptied of crooks, the gig was up!
Mattel snagged the rights to Lock ‘n’ Chase, primarily for their own Intellivision home video game system, though an Atari 2600 version was made.