Lock ‘N Chase Review

Developer: Mattel Publisher: Mattel
Release Date: 1982 Also On: None

Why is it that when a game is immensely successful it has to be cloned mercilessly? Pac-Man, despite its limitations, was just such a game, and because of that, many third parties released clones of it. Among these clones is a little title called Lock ‘N’ Chase which, while in essence a Pac-man clone, makes some changes to the Pac-man formula, enough so in fact that it is clear to see that they tried to make this different enough to complement Pac-man more than replace it.

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Lock ‘N’ Chase has much in common with Pac-man. You have your little guy, a robber in this case, who is running around a maze (probably intended to be a bank) picking up things (probably money of some type). He is being chased by four other guys (cops in this case) and loses a life if one of them catches him. But above that the resemblance ends. The makers of this game added and removed some things to make this game play slightly differently than Pac-man.

Let’s start with what they removed. Gone are the power pellets, and with them the ability to chase your oppressors. But then again, who’d want to eat a cop; they probably taste bad. Gone is the orange on blue color scheme, praise God, replaced with a green on black. Not the best color choice, but anything’s better than orange on blue. Unfortunately, gone are the skill levels. The only thing that the game select switch alters is whether the game is one or two players.

What then did they add? Two things. First, to replace the power pellets, the makers of this game added an ability to your little robber’s arsenal, the ability to set up roadblocks in the vertical hallways of the maze (but not the horizontal ones for some reason). They last a few seconds, and you can have up to two of them set up at a time. Neither your robber nor the cops can pass through them, so they are just the thing to keep the cops from catching you. The other change is that you aren’t done when you take the last money item. Rather, to beat the level you have to escape out a hatch at the top of the screen that opens when you collect the last one. Should you die in the process of doing this though, you don’t have to do it on your next life (not that it’d be hard since you start a life directly under the hatch).

Like Pac-man, Lock ‘N’ Chase has one maze that repeats endlessly, and like Pac-man, it also has icons that will appear for you to pick up (from two places) for extra points. One of the icons will make noise to tell you when it is there and one of them will not. The graphics and sound in this game are about on par with Pac-man other than the fact that I like the color scheme of this game better. Overall, if you are a Pac-man fan, you should be able to enjoy this game as well, as the two are alike in many ways.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 6.8
Written by Martin Review Guide

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