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Lock n' Chase
  opened by paleface at 17:02:38 09/10/04  
  last modified by paleface at 12:27:18 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=GB; cat=Puzzle; reg=NA]
Data East takes a cops'n'robbers approach to a Pac-Man-style maze game, complete with cutesy cops, money to steal, traps to set, doors, gates, and of course you, the robber.
The actual "Lock" part takes some getting used to, and I'm not all the way there yet myself. Basically, you'll see little nubs flanking either side of a hallway in various parts of the mazes, and if you have enough lock power (from the diamonds you steal?) and you aim toward the nubs, pressing the button creates a chain thing between them, blocking the hall--the cops now can't run through there, but neither can you. I think I block myself off more often than I do the cops. The lock disappears after five or ten seconds. Sometimes you can set more than one lock, but I'm still not sure how you know when you can do that.
Stages, featuring you robbing banks in various parts of the world, consist of three mazes, with a bonus slot-machine matching game in between in which you can win more lives by spending diamonds (in mazes, diamonds act like power pellets in Pac-Man). You also have apparently unlimited continues, but alas no save or even password.
The mazes start out pretty simple and open, with lots of branches in which to dodge the cops, but quickly get tricky with complications such as gates that take a second or so to open, doors that teleport you, "?" blocks that swap cops, hidden tunnels in walls, alarms that wake sleeping cops up, and so on. The cops are pretty relentless if they spot you. Of course, you could try setting a lock behind yourself as they chase you, but usually behind is where you want them to be, since you can almost always outrun them.
The music and sound effects get a little annoying, but the sprites are really cute.
I'm a bit on the fence about this game because while I like the look and basic gameplay, some of the mechanics (the lock, the hidden tunnels, the teleporting doors) are unintuitive, and mean that you have to use some trial and error to get through the later stages--error during which you will most likely get caught by the cops.

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