Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
The Police Chief of Badville has a nagging problem. Try as he might, he just can't accumulate enough evidence to put the evil Mr Big out of business and send him to the slammer. However, he has a cunning idea that might just work...
He knows all about the knockabout, slapstick antics of those incompetent burglars, the Bonanza Brothers, and decides to call them up and force them into raiding Mr Big's hideouts and pinching his many valuables. These valuables can be used by the Chief to incriminate Mr Big thus ending his reign of crime-related terror.
As you may have gathered, you take control of one of the Bonanza Brothers and it's your job to strut the four-way scrolling corridors of Mr Big's hideouts, half-inching anything valuable that crosses your path. But your evil adversary isn't completely thick. He has hired several security companies to look after his goods, and their orders are to shoot to kill. Luckily, the Bonanza Brothers have guns of their own and can even use the scenery to their advantage, splatting their foes behind doors and the like.
There are ten hideouts for the Bonanza Brothers to raid before the Chief has enough hard evidence against the syndicate to close down their operations... for good!
Don't be misled by the title, or indeed the fact that the game is converted from a split-screen two-player coin-op. The Master System version of Bonanza Brothers is ONE-PLAYER ONLY! However, on the option screen you can choose to be either Robo or Mobo Bonanza. This is pretty pointless though as neither character plays any differently whatsoever.
Stages two, four and seven are bonus levels, where the bungling burglar has the opportunity to collect some good old fashioned hard cash. These levels involve our light-fingered hero jumping around a single screen of platforms, collecting bags of cash and dodging enemy gun sights Should Mr Bonanza be scoped out before he's collected all the money, the stage ends.
Bonanza Brothers is also available on the Megadrive. Unlike the Master System game, this version has split-screen action like the original arcade game and incorporates every feature that the coin-op has to offer. The only problem is that the game is extremely easy to complete because of the large amount of continues the game endows you with.
A police man is dazed as one Bonanza Brother lets rip with his shooter.
Watch out! Standing in that position makes you vulnerable to being smashed in the face with the door!
Some bizarre action is being performed here, but we couldn't tell you what it is.
Master System Bonanza Brothers bears an uncanny graphical resemblance to its Megadrive counterpart, with well animated sprites and loads of colour. The gameplay also comes close to the Megadrive - which is a bit of a shame really, because it wasn't all that good. The runny-jumpy-shooty action is good fun up to a point, but it eventually becomes repetitive and dull. Add to this the fact that the two-player mode of the original has been left out and you have a distinctly suspect title. For diehard Bonanza maniacs only.
The arcade game was okay, providing a good laugh and plenty to do in exchange for your 20p, but the game just hasn't got enough depth to make this Master System conversion worth £29.99. There are only ten levels and you can play through the whole lot during your first session. Also, making things a lot worse is the rather sad inclusion of a level select cheat in the manual - doh! Also. I think Sega have a bit of a cheek calling this game Bonanza Brothers at all, since only one player can play at once. This in itself removes one of the best features of the original game. It's a great shame really, because otherwise, this is quite a close conversion of the coin-op in terms of graphics and sound. Even without the other player it's an enjoyable game in the short term but it just isn't worth the money at all.