The stealth genre is a very complex genre, games like The Metal Gear series, Splinter Cell series, the Rocksteady Batman series and many more make you think before you take action, strategise how you’re going to escape or how you’re going to take down your enemies and look cool doing so. Now how about a game where it fails this and despite trying to be as simple as possible it doesn’t really work but it’s still a decent enough game. Bonanza Bros. (ボナンザブラザーズ), developed and published by Sega and was released in Arcades in 1990 before getting a home port for the Mega Drive in 1991. Bonanza Bros. was made using the Sega System 24 Arcade System Board, and probably the seventh game to use the arcade board.
So there are two different stories depending on which region you come from. The western story is about two brothers, Mike and Spike Bonanza, who are watching TV and suddenly, a mysterious figure assigns them to find various items in various buildings, they got to do this within three minutes for each building, but it’s going to be dangerous since there are going to be security guards everywhere, but they will be given non-lethal bullets to take them down. But the Japanese version is about Mobo and Robo Bonanza just want to rob everything…well at least it’s not too contrived.
For now I’m calling them Mobo and Robo. You play as one of the brothers to rob items whilst either trying to avoid or shoot security guards, though you can’t kill them, it’s a cartoony game. You got to make sure to collect all items in each building in order to exit the level; if you get hit or attacked by the guards, you fall down and the items get dropped; losing all your lives will end up in jail time and possibly some shower action.
Like I said, there are some elements of stealth, but I don’t see it, nor do I feel sneaky, because the game is 2D in a 3D style, which I might add I love the graphics and I do like the level design. But add to the fact that the buildings are cramped, it’s not so easy to stealth, if at all, so the best strategy is to run, shoot them, try to collect items exit a room before they get up, do this for all the levels, whilst the stealth is lacking, it is a good strategy game, at one point I manage to make it to the final level before losing. I have also played the Arcade version and it’s surprisingly much of the same. I don’t know why but I love the character designs, it’s as if The Blues Brothers, Lego Figures, Mr. Chip from Catchphrase and the Minions had babies, I would love to have figures of them, but seeing as Sega is milking Sonic to give a darn, I doubt it will happen.
Overall, this is another fun game by Sega, though different tastes apply, it’s one of those games that have been largely forgotten by many. It’s a fairly simple game that uses stealth in its own way, even if it’s more simple than what many stealth fans are used to. The game though is short, if you’re good at it then it should take you around 30 minutes to beat it. I’d recommend having a go at it since a lot of people just forgot about it, but I didn’t, I played it on the PSP as a child and I remember it well now.
You can get it on Arcade, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, Virtual Console, Sega Master System, TurboGrafx-CD, Sega Mega Drive, Sharp X68000, Windows (Steam), ZX Spectrum and the PlayStation 2.