You are the hero and your job is to guard a bank from cowboys while the citizens deposit their money. This Game was also released to the Arcades and this is the direct conversion.
In a normal bank this would an easy job as there would be just one door. But here we have a strange designed bank, featuring 12 doors and you always see 3 of them at one screen. In the upper screen is your status bar, all 12 Doors and a timer. You must get a money bag at every door before the time runs out to finish a Level. The normal civilians come and deposit money and you shouldn't shoot them as this cost you a life. Also sometimes a kid appears with 3 or 5 hats on his head, shoot them down to get points. And then there are the cowboys, when they appear you must wait until a counter above them begins, shoot them immediately or he shoot you down. When you kill him before the counter begins, it was unfair and you don't get as much points. Sometimes, a civilian will be captured by a robber and used as a decoy. When the door opens, you'll either see a civilian all tied up or they'll stand there for a second or two. You have to wait until you see the actual robber jump into view before you shoot. This can be very tricky. Also there will be sometimes a bomb warning, as someone put a bomb at the door, find it and shoot it down before it explodes. And this is all you do in every Level. I don't know how many Levels this game have as the game gets faster and harder with every Level and I never came past Level 65.
The graphics are nearly in the same quality as in the arcade. Everything is nice made and the animation are good. The real funny things are the scenes you see when you get shot by a bandit or the bomb explodes as your hero is covered in black and has the typical comical 'I was just in an explosion' eye blink. When you shoot a civilian he gets really angry with you.
Sound & Music
The sound effects are good and the gunshot sound is realistic. The Music is typical western style and fits the game.
Here we have a little problem, as the gamepad has only two buttons but you have three doors. So you move around by pressing left or right. You shoot at the right door by pressing up or down, the middle one with Button 1 and the right door with button 2. Sometimes it happens that you want to go left or right and accidentally press up and shoot against a door but it is not that bad as the doors are only open when you stand still.
As Bank Panic is open ended, you can play it to and try and get as far into the game as you can or to score as many points as you get. So the replay value is quite high although Bank Panic is not as addictive as Columns.
Although Bank Panic is not in my Top 10 Master System games I like it. It is a nice little game, with an easy gameplay and some funny animations. If you like shooting games you should get it.