Mean Machines

Bonanza Brothers

Publisher: Sega
Machine: Sega Mega Drive (EU Version)

Published in Mean Machines #10

Bonanza Brothers

Those bungling, burgling Bonanza Bros are back in town - and this time they're not taking any crap! Instead they're taking just about every valuable item that isn't nailed to the floor!

Robo and Mobo are the Bonanza Bros in question, and it's their job to organise armed raids on every major building in town and relieve them of all valuables possible. The only problem is that each building has a large contingent of security guards, and having heard of the massive $100 dollar reward out for the brothers, they're eager to blast them into oblivion.

The screen is split in half, with each mini-screen showing one brother's progress through the eight-way scrolling building. The aim is simply to pick up all of the flashing items and make good your escape.

Bonanza Bros.

Easy, huh? No chance...

Bonanza Baddies

There are plenty of different security guards found in each level, all intent on making the brothers meet with a hideous doom. Most simply raise the alarm, or attempt to blast (or cudgel) our heroes into an early grave.

Watch out for the shield-bearing guards (as seen in another Sega coin-op, Crackdown). Their shields deflect all your bullets, so your best bet is to sneak up behind them and blast them while their shield is pointing in the opposite direction!

Split-Screen Skills

Bonanza Bros.

Bonanza Bros is meant to be played by two players simultaneously (the screen looks more than a little bare when only one brother is taking part), and this is supposed to increase the strategy element.

For example, one brother could be shooting the guards from one side of the room whilst the other scoops up all the booty. However, chances are that the brothers will take completely separate routes, scooping up all the treasure and thus completing the level quicker (and getting tons more bonus points!).

Bonanza Blatting

Although Robo and Mobo only carry a pea-shooter-esque gun around with them, the backgrounds provide a wealth of attack opportunities. If a guard is loitering behind a door, the brothers can wham it open, blatting the hapless guard straight against the wall! Later levels contain power-crushers. Should a guard walk under the heavy squashing implement, one pull of the special lever crushes them into a special jumbo-sized pizza!

Casing The Joint

Bonanza Bros.

There are ten levels of Bonanza blagging crow-barred into this cartridge. The venues for all these sticky fingered antics range from a top-secret lab to the likes of a high security mint, a flashy yacht and a designer jewelry shop!

Have A Nice Trip

Keep a look out for rakes and discarded Coke cans dotted around the floor! Walk over these and the lads either trip over or are momentarily stunned. Whatever happens, precious time is lost, and if a guard is near, the chances are they'll collar you!


Bonanza Bros was a great game in the arcades, mainly because the player only had to stump up 20p for a game which was packed with great humour, excellent graphics and decent playability. The Megadrive version is very close to the coin-op, with only some of the later levels and bonus stages missing.

Bonanza Bros.

However, the gameplay does get very repetitive after a while and, on easy level, you can see the whole game if you use all of the credits. Even on the harder setting, Bonanza Bros doesn't represent a serious challenge to a hardened games player due to the wealth of credits.

I didn't find much fun with the two-player mode - there's no real sense of either team work or competition to add to the gameplay. If you're a real Bonanza Bros nut (like Julian), you'll like this, but if you only find the game marginally intriguing, spend a couple of quid on the coin-op instead.


Bonanza Bros' unusual, beautifully coloured graphics, great sound effects and superb playability have been fully captured in this stunning conversion! It's incredible fun to play, with utterly frantic action (especially when you're trying to do something like dodge around three policemen who are converging on you from all angles) and many hilarious touches.

Bonanza Bros.

Watch what happens when a fly lands on your head, you step on a can or rake, fall off a wall of get splattered behind a door! My only gripe (I've already said this about another Megadrive title this month!) is that there are too many continues, and they let you finish the game very quickly (especially if you're also playing it on "easy" level).

Play sensibly on the "normal" level with one credit at a time and you've got a thoroughly enjoyable and very unusual Megadrive conversion which fans of the coin-op will adore.


Presentation 92%
Excellent in this department, with loads of options and attract screens.

Bonanza Bros.

Graphics 91%
Great comic sprites and a wide variety of backdrops.

Sound 90%
Spot-on tunes and groovy effects - the Robodog is skill!

Playability 83%
Easy to get into and instantly addictive...

Lastability 74%
...but be warned: the game is far too easy to complete if you use all the credits. Play sensibly and use them wisely.

Overall 82%
Fans of the coin-op will love this - but others might find the action a little too repetitive. If in doubt, check it out.