Time Bandit

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Developer(s) Bill Dunlevy
Harry Lafnear
Publisher(s) MichTron
Platform(s) TRS-80 Model I (original)
TRS-80 Color Computer, Dragon 32, Atari ST, Amiga
  • NA: 1983 (1983)

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 with the 1985 version for the Atari ST and Amiga. The game was written by Bill Dunlevy and Harry Lafnear, who also created Cashman,and published by MichTron. 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 MS-DOS versions were ported by Timothy Purves.


The overhead-view gameplay is similar to the 1985 Gauntlet arcade game from Atari Games. In each level, the player must gather keys to open locks which allow access to the exit. Between levels, the player chooses the next level from 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.[2] In this mode, a split screen is used for simultaneous play in the same worlds, allowing direct cooperation or combat between players.


  1. Shadowland
  2. Major Hazard
  3. Gridville
  4. Omega Complex
  5. Bomb Factory
  6. Ghost Town
  7. Hotel California
  8. Castle Greymoon
  9. King's Crown
  10. Underworld Arena
  11. Darkside Dare
  12. Excalibur
  13. Welkin Island
  14. Sentinel
  15. Cheops' Curse
  16. Guardian


Jerry Pournelle of BYTE named Time Bandit his game of the month for September 1986, stating that the ST version "is the best arcade-type computer game I have ever seen".[3] The game was well received by reviewers in magazines such as Antic,[2] Compute!,[4] and BYTE[5] for its gameplay and graphics, though reviews also tended to note that the game includes no music and has minimal sound effects.

The Amiga version of the game was reviewed in 1990 in Dragon #158 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 4½ out of 5 stars.[6]

Clue Book[edit]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Time Bandit, Tandy (TRS-80) Color Computer Games
  2. ^ a b Gil Merciez (October 1986). "ST Product News". Antic. 5 (6): 67. 
  3. ^ Pournelle, Jerry (September 1986). "A Busy Day". BYTE. p. 321. 
  4. ^ Bateman, Selby (October 1986). "A Great Year For Games". Compute!. p. 18. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Webster, Bruce (December 1986). "Season's Greetings". BYTE. p. 305. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  6. ^ Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia; Lesser, Kirk (June 1990). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (158): 47–54. 

External links[edit]