(Game Boy)

Lock 'N Chase (Game Boy)

Game Review

Lock 'N Chase Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Puzzle Pac-Man

Data East had quite a few relatively unknown Game Boy games back in the day. Much BurgerTime Deluxe, released a few weeks ago, Lock 'N Chase is essentially a "sequel" to the original arcade game, with the same general gameplay but with many more levels and even a few new gameplay mechanics.

If you've played the arcade game, the graphics in this version will probably be the first thing you notice. The original game looked very primitive, with blocky characters and only a single level which looked like it was in cyberspace. In the Game Boy version, the characters have been reimagined to look like some sort of walking balls with feet, with your character wearing a fedora and every other character dressed like a cop, with different designs. There are also several different level designs this time.

If you're new to Lock 'N Chase, probably the first thing you'll think is that it is very similar to Pac-Man. You run around a maze collecting gold while being chased around by several enemies that kill you upon a simple touch. On top of that, randomly appearing diamonds allow you to kill the enemies by touching them instead (although they will instantly respawn), as well as money bags which temporarily stun all enemies.

Lock 'N Chase differs from its obvious inspiration however by introducing several other gameplay elements. For starters, along the walls of the paths in every level you'll come across several marked spots where you can set up an electric barricade, allowing you to easily force an enemy to take the long way around. Of course, these can not be used continuously, so you'll have to manage your use of them carefully.

On top of barricades, you'll be introduced to several other gameplay elements as you go along, like sets of doors which are connected to each other and act as warps, barriers which only open for you and close again after a while and alarm clocks which wake up sleeping enemies on the stage. Eventually there will even be hidden passages within the walls which are not visible in any way, and although that means you'll have to search hard for them, it also means enemies can never get into them, making them a safe haven.

Probably the biggest thing it has over Namco's extremely simplistic Game Boy port of Pac-Man, however, is that it has a ton of stages, each of which is completely different. There are 12 areas total, each with three stages. The first six are rather simple and introduce you to new gameplay elements, and after that you'll actually get a credit roll and a password to access the second half of the game, which has much tougher levels.

Unlike BurgerTime Deluxe, unfortunately, there are no passwords between every single area. There are, however, slot games between each area where you get one roll for every diamond you grabbed, and if you get particularly lucky you could manage to get 20+ lives in a matter of seconds like us.

As stated earlier, the game's graphics are a noticeable improvement over the original arcade game, with quite a bit more character. The music is also quite nice, with several catchy tunes and a new song in every one of the first six areas.

Conclusion

Like BurgerTime Deluxe, Lock 'N Chase is a nice update to an old Data East arcade game. However, while BurgerTime didn't really add anything new and only added a decent amount of new stages, Lock 'N Chase offers several interesting new gameplay elements which are switched between regularly, as well as a large amount of new stages. The Game Boy version of Pac-Man is quite disappointing, so why not pick up this much better game inspired by it instead?

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User Comments (18)

Bass_X0

#1

Bass_X0 said:

Any videogame character wearing a fedora makes them automatically cool.

That is the power of fedoras.

FonistofCruxis

#2

FonistofCruxis said:

Wow, I was expecting a 6 or 7 rather than an 8 but I'm still don't think its something I'd want to get.

grumblegrumble

#5

grumblegrumble said:

Sorry but I am a huge fan of Pac-Man and nothing beats an original Pac-Man game (for me) However, I remember loving Lock n' Chase as a kid, too, and can't wait to download this. --Insert Cricket sound here — but, sigh, no VC game in North America for the past two weeks! ;/

Geonjaha

#6

Geonjaha said:

It looks good. Those saying that 'nothing beats an original Pac-Man game' need to get over their nostalgia for the game and realise that sometimes other companies do it better.

Birdman

#8

Birdman said:

Hmm, convincing review. I'll grab it (eventually) once it comes to NA.

Noend

#9

Noend said:

My dad and I played the original Atari 2600 Lock N Chase all the time.

Must get!

IAmChristinaAguilera

#10

IAmChristinaAguilera said:

If you think this looks like Pac-Man, you should see the original arcade game — the cops look like the Pac-Man ghosts in police outfits!

Tasuki

#12

Tasuki said:

I had this game on Game Boy back many years ago. I always was able to get to the last level but could never beat it. I forgot how fun this game was until I read this. Hope it comes to the 3DS VC.

MeloMan

#14

MeloMan said:

I don't even remember this... but I do like Pac Man. I'll probably scoop it up.

eviLaTtenDant

#15

eviLaTtenDant said:

It's because of these games that i like the VC's so much. Games you've never heard about before but that deserve your attention every bit as much as Pac Man or Donkey Kong.
Bought the game after the review but haven't played it yet.

GreenX1

#16

GreenX1 said:

Oh, fudge! While I was learning the basics of video game development in college, I unwittingly tried to make a Pac-Man clone that has to do with cops and robbers before even knowing about Lock 'N' Chase! Looking at this game makes me ashamed to admit that my game sucks compared to Lock 'N' Chase. Mine's buggy and virtually unplayable, while this game is actually fun. Data East, I salute you. Nintendo, thanks for humbling me.

StarDust4Ever

#18

StarDust4Ever said:

I'm actually glad I skipped out on the crappy Pacman port (and I am definitely a Pacman fan, but the GB version just sucks bigtime); now I can DL this little gem instead! :)

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