#66 Bank Panic

Posted: 23rd August 2012 by Mulholland in Games
Tags: , , , ,

173rd played so far

Genre: Shoot ’em Up
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1984
Developer: Sanritsu
Publisher: Sega

This morning Jeroen accidentally (through a slip of the tongue) coined a term: short ’em up. I thought he was being clever since there are many shoot ’em ups left for us to do on this list that would not take us that long to cover. Turns up it was a slur and he didn’t take credit for this term… therefore I shall. It’s the accent. Nobody understands me 🙁

Time for a short ’em up!

Our Thoughts

If there is a successful arcade game then you know that it will have been replicated to death over the internet. Titles like Breakout and Space Invaders are the more obvious victims but I think most people who have wasted time playing games on the interweb will have come across a clone of Bank Panic. Neopets even have their own version called Trouble at the National Neopian. Then again… if there is an arcade game there is a Neopets version… moreorless.

The idea, as is the case of most of these older games, is very simple. You are a white hatted sheriff stationed at the local bank and your task is to mind it (presumablely until the owner comes back with replacement bit for the jukebox which is stuck on ‘I Wish I Was A Dixie’. You do this by rotating the view of the sheriff and allowing patrons to deposit money whilst shooting outlaws and disarming bombs. There are also midgets under piles of hats which you can shoot for a bonus since we all know the Wild West worked in such a fashion.

You lose lives by shooting an innocent customer, being shot by an outlaw, failing to disarm a bomb in time or just running out of time generally. As the levels progress it gets faster and faster until the time that you are such a bag of nerves that you will probably lose all your lives by shooting customers rather than the criminals. There is also the option of ‘pre-emptive justice’ by shooting outlaws the moment they enter rather than allowing them to draw their gun. Unlike more modern games there is no penalising here since anyone with a bandana over their mouth is automatically a wanted criminal.

This is trickier than it sounds, as these bandits look a lot like cowboys – the bandana really is the only difference. At the same time, outlaws hold the ‘good’ people hostage – you need to wait until the innocent has gotten out of the way before you can shoot the outlaw, who of course now gets the jump on you. It can actually get rather tricky and the game’s visuals do trick you – as nice as their cartoony looks might be.

Considering it’s age this game is still really good fun and makes for a good diversion and would probably make for a good exemplar of an early example of a game involving law enforcement restricted to being the good guy… like Crackdown but not at all.

Final Thoughts

It’s not a game that’ll eat away hours of your time – these arcade games generally weren’t meant to – and it’s not the most complex game out there. However, it’s fun to play and really makes you twitchy – it gets too easy to shoot the wrong guy, and you don’t want to be robbed… Absolutely worth trying, in any of its incarnations out there.