Let’s get right into the meat and potatoes of this classic game.
Bonanza Bros. is a 2D shooter, platformer where player(s) take the role of one or both of the brothers, Robo the tall brother in red and Mobo the shorter brother in blue.
A Chicago tie in and fun fact is that the Bonanza Bros. were modeled after The Blues Brothers.
The objective of the game is for the player(s) to stealthily move throughout the level stunning/hiding/avoiding guards, retrieving a growing number of objects and move to the roof where a blimp is waiting to whisk the players and loot off to the next location. The players must gather and bring all of the objects to the roof on the same life, otherwise the blimp won’t take off. Another wrinkle to this is that there is a ticking clock before the police show up and the Bros. are taken off to jail.
The player(s) can walk, jump, shoot, distract and move behind a column or large furniture. Guards and workers can’t be killed or wiped from the level, only stunned for a few seconds using the gun or slamming a door in their faces. They are alerted by sounds or when the Bonanza Bros. come into their line of sight, and then either hide, call for help or fire against the player. If the player is hit, The player drops all objects and loses a life.
The game takes place in several locations which include a bank, a mansion, a casino, a mint, an art gallery and a treasury. The locations get bigger and the locations of the loot are placed in more and more difficult spots as the player progresses through the game. Although an early level in the game the Casino is one of my favorite maps. The music is jamming while the enemy and loot placement is just right, the combination of the three keeps this level moving and grooving.
Ahhh Bonanza Bros… where to begin? The countless tales I can tell involving this simple yet engaging game.
The year was 2005 when this game came into existence for me. My cousin sent me a C.D. with a bunch of roms and the Sega Genesis emulator: Fusion on it. Don’t worry for those of you concerned with the legality of all this, I already owned a Genesis and went out and bought the games that I hadn’t owned after this C.D. came into my possession.
My brother and I would play this game for hours on end, many a late night trying to rush through the game or screw each other over by getting one another caught by the guards. The two of us have see the screen below enough times that we could probably draw it from memory…
One of my favorite times embarking on a Bonanza Bros. playthrough involved one of the wackiest deaths possible in the game.
We were SUPPOSED to simply zipline from one building to the other, in order to reach the blimp. Things started of right but when we got about halfway down the line, my brother reached over and slapped the controller out of my hand. At this point my character, Mobo, jumps from the zip line and falls three stories to the ground. Mobo lands and is stunned dropping all of the loot that we had collected and the guard dog that was roaming that part of the level starts barking, causing the one worker who was carrying large stack of plates to drop all of them and pull out his gun.
Mobo was stuck in the spot that he fell and the flashing buffer that prevents harm had run out. I quickly try and get my controller and still can’t get him to move, meanwhile, the dog and guard are closing in fast… The dog pounces on me first and then the guard shoots the gun at just the right time that by the time that buffer is gone again the bullet hits me and takes up the last life that we have and I am out of the game. The two of us had such a laugh at that turn of events and till this day that story will always bring a smile to our faces.
I have a list of things to do this weekend:
- Find a copy of this game
- Grab some cold beer
- Enlist someone I trust not to slap a controller from my hands
- Enjoy playing through this game again
Whenever you have a free weekend I encourage you to do the same! The game should only take 30 minutes 😉 to beat but is packed with hours of fun.