Bank Panic (also known as West Bank) is an action shooter game developed by Sanritsu and published by SEGA in 1984 being one of the most addictive games for its time! The game was successfully ported to SG-1000, MSX, Sega Master System, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum as West Bank, Atari XL/XE as Bang Bank.
STORY / GAMEPLAY This was one of my favorite games on the arcades back to the 80s. You're an Old West sheriff who must protect a bank and its customers from masked robbers. The layout of the bank is implicitly a circle with twelve numbered doors. You can rotate to the left or right and view three doors at a time. The doors will open to reveal a customer (who will drop a bag of money, making a deposit), a robber (who will attempt to shoot the player) or a young boy (who will be holding a stack of three to five hats, which you can rapidly shoot for a bag of money or bonus time). The level ends when all twelve doors have received one or more deposits. Note that at random intervals, a bomb will be placed on one of the doors and a rapid timer will count down from 99. You must move to that door and destroy the bomb with gunfire! But you should be more careful as shooting a customer, being shot by a robber, failing to destroy a bomb or failing to complete the level before the overall timer (shown by a bar at the bottom of the screen) loses one life. Although robbers can be shot on sight (such a kill is judged -UNFAIR- but carries no penalty), greater points can be earned by waiting until they begin to draw their weapons.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The Amstrad CPC conversion is slightly different in graphics when compared to the other 8bit ports, but most of the original design of the Bank's interior is here and differs only in some details. I like its bright color palette. The character animation is poor though (limited to 1-2 frames each) but it does make the job and is just enough for the game's specific gameplay. The sound is acceptable, having a nice Western-style tune while the sound FX are typical including gun shots and door opening sounds only.
CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards) GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.