Bank Heist

Bank Heist
Company: 20th Century Fox
Model #:
Bill Aspromonte
Year: 1983
Originally called Roaring 20's, Bonnie & Clyde, Hold Up, and Cops n' Robbers.


Bank Heist is a fast paced maze style game for the 2600.  While the name clearly defines the goal of the game it's kind of bland, which may explain why it was nearly called something else (actually several something elses).  Early manuals and advertisements mention an upcoming game called Roaring 20's which is a better name, but the era of the great bank robbers was the 30's, not the 20's.  This may be why the name was then changed to Cops n' Robbers , then Hold Up, and finally Bonnie & Clyde who were enjoying a resurgence in popularity due to the highly successful 1967 movie of the same name (the artwork seems to depict the famous couple with a few changes).  The only problem was that Warner Bros., not 20th Century Fox had put that movie out.  It's unknown if TCF was planning on licensing the name from Warner Bros. or if they thought that they could use the names as long as there were no references to the movie.  Either way the name was ultimately changed to the more generic (by legally safe) Bank Heist.  Several prototypes exist with different combinations of these names on their labels.


Identity crisis aside, Bank Heist is actually a pretty simple game.  Your goal is to rob as many banks as you can on the current maze screen and escape before being picked up by the cops.   The banks you must rob appear in different spots in the maze and there are three visible at any one time.  If the right difficulty switch is set to B then the banks appear in a set order.  If it is set to A then the order is random, making it impossible to memorize the pattern which can cause problems.  Why you ask?  Because you have a limited amount of gas and robbing banks is how you get it back.


The amount of gas you currently have is shown by the gas pump at the top of the screen.  The lower the red bar, the less gas you have left.  Each time you rob a bank the bar next to the gas pump moves up a bit.  This bar represents how much gas you'll get back AFTER you leave the maze.  The higher the bar, the more gas you'll get back (if the bar is red then you didn't rob enough banks to get any gas back).  If you manage to rob nine banks or more on one screen then you'll get all your gas back when you leave and an extra life.  Speaking of leaving, there are actually four different openings in each maze.  Going through the lower left or lower right opening will warp you to the other side of the maze ala Pac-Man.  Moving through the upper left opening will do the same, but moving through the upper right opening will move you to the next maze.  Be sure you want to leave town because once you do there's no going back.


It wouldn't be much of a game if you could simply drive around town unmolested by the local cops.  Each time you rob a bank you'll get chased by a cop car which will either wander around the screen in a loose pattern (Left Difficulty switch set to B) or charge right at you (Left Difficulty switch set to A).  There can be up to three cop cars on the screen at any one time if you've robbed all three banks.  Thankfully you're not unarmed against the fuzz, your car comes equipped with the finest dynamite available which can be thrown behind your car and will explode after a few seconds.  If the dynamite destroys a cop car then a new bank will appear somewhere in the maze and the cop will disappear until you rob another bank.  Learning to time the dynamite correctly is essential to playing the game.  You have unlimited sticks, but be careful as the dynamite will destroy your car as well as the cops.  There are four different cities (mazes) for you to rob.  Once you've cycled through all four mazes you'll start over on the first but at a higher difficulty level.  There are eight different difficulty levels, and your starting level can be selected from the title screen. 

Bank Heist is one of the often overlooked 20th Century Fox games.  Released towards the end of Fox's involvement with making games, Bank Heist didn't have much time to make an impact before being chucked into bargain bins as the game market started to collapse.  This is a shame because it's actually a pretty decent and fast paced maze game with decent graphics.  If you like maze games be sure to give it a try.


Version Cart Text Description
Bonnie & Clyde Final version


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