Time Bandit is an action/adventure video game that was written originally for the TRS-80 Model I and soon ported to the TRS-80 Color Computer and Dragon 32, but enjoyed its greatest popularity on the Atari ST and Amiga. The game was written by Bill Dunlevy and Harry Lafnear, and published by MichTron, creators of the popular Cashman. Later versions were created for various other platforms, including the pseudo-PC-compatible Sanyo MBC-55x with its unique 8-color display. The Amiga and DOS versions were ported by Timothy Purves.
The game's basic structure is as a top-down shooter. In each level, the player must gather keys to open locks which will allow him to exit. In between each level the player chooses the next level from any one of 16 different "Timegates", each leading to a different world, and each of which must be completed sixteen times, each time being progressively more difficult than the last. The worlds vary in character and difficulty. Some worlds incorporate elements of text adventure games, and most contain gameplay references to other popular games of the time, such as Pac-Man and Centipede. In addition to the primary objective of exiting each level, optional side quests become available in the later stages of some worlds, usually awarding the player with one of several "artifacts" upon completion.
The game also features a "Duel Mode" for two players. In this mode, a split screen is used for simultaneous play in the same worlds, allowing direct cooperation or combat between players.
- Major Hazard
- Omega Complex
- Bomb Factory
- Ghost Town
- Hotel California
- Castle Greymoon
- King's Crown
- Underworld Arena
- Darkside Dare
- Welkin Island
- Cheops' Curse
For the Atari ST, the game was well received by reviewers in magazines such as Antic, Compute!, and Byte for its gameplay and graphics, though reviews also tended to note that the game includes no music and minimal sound effects.
The Timelord's Handbook, a clue book and companion manual for the game, was released in March 2010 by Harry Lafnear, one of the original authors of the game. In addition to game clues, the book includes background fiction and profiles on the game's history and creators.
- Gil Merciez (October 1986). "ST Product News". Antic 5 (6): 67.
- Bateman, Selby (October 1986). "A Great Year For Games". Compute!. p. 18. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- Lesser, Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk (June 1990). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (158): 47–54.