Saturday, June 13, 2015

Time Bandit


Microdeal released Time Bandit in... wait for it... 1985 so it ranks as one of the first Atari ST games. Programmed by Bill Dunlevy, long before any developers knew how to push the new 16bit computer, but my first impressions weren't good. (sigh). Yes, I felt that this was a cheap Gauntlet ripoff but I continued to play until my sanity returned.

Yup, ignore my foolish first impressions because I fear there might be a funky game lurking behind those old 8bit style visuals. Fwiw, Time Bandit was released for the TRS-80 a couple of years before Gauntlet appeared...

  

We begin in The Timegates, a place which permits access to numerous strange worlds and each is completely different. These range from ancient Egypt to a bomb-making factory and other weird surprises - like the Pac-Man land. They have their own style and objectives with gameplay that will remind you of Gauntlet, to a degree.

The exit is blocked so find the key(s) or complete the required task to escape. Interestingly, each completed world can be played again for an increased level of difficulty and a variety of fascinating design changes all of which keep the gameplay interesting and progressively challenging. Battles are fought using a rocket launcher and, best of all, you've been blessed with unlimited ammo too!! Very nice and that suits me just dandy.

  

Yes, this was a lesson in aesthetics and my ignorance. Never go off first impressions based on the look of a game. Time Bandit is a cracker with so many interesting levels to plunder and each offers their own unique charm. It might look like Gauntlet but it's very different and offers its own styles to become a true Atari ST classic.

Budding time lords should download this great game for either floppy or the superb hard disk version!!


- Sixteen whacky worlds -

  
Underworld Arena has many spectators and Darkside Dare is incredibly odd with unexpected twists.

  
Castle Greymoon is one of my favourite levels as is the dingy Excalibur spaceship!

  
Shadowland? Nah this is a Pacman ripoff lol. Welkin Island looks rubbish but is very cool.

  
Omega Complex, one vowel off being blocked. The Sentinel reminded me a little of Tutankhamun.

  
Gridville appears to have rude tomatoes but Hotel California allows us to play as John Wayne!!

  
Watch out for strange aliens in Major Hazard but the Old Bomb Factory takes that to another level!!

  
Cheops' Curse offers more than you think but there's a spooky graveyard in Ghost Town.

  
Guardian is tough even on the first attempt and watch out for the creepy crawlies in King's Crown.

No comments:

Post a Comment