Cowboy Bandits

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 06/09/2013 - 21:44

Brill-Fun Bank-Raiding Shooter

I got this game on one of a set of floppies which came with a BBC B that I bought a while ago. Now, I appreciate that the title screen says “Bandit” and that there is no record anywhere online of a game called “Cowboy Bandits”, but in homage to the person who created the boot menu for that floppy, I’m reviewing it as such. Sadly, Acornsoft does not agree with my appellation:

Bandits Title Screen

You know, by pluralising the name there, they could have made the loading screen vaguely symmetrical. But Bandit or Bandits, I reckon “Cowboy Bandits” is loads better. So - the premise: You are a sheriff or something. A bunch of bandits are trying to break into a bank! You must shoot them!

In practice, it works like this: The bandits start on the left and right of the screen, and you’re at the bottom, shooting upwards a la Invaders. The bandits slowly creep towards the bank, which consists of a series of walls at the centre of which are some bags of cash. You must try to prevent the bandits from removing the walls, by killing them. Here’s how it looks:

More Bandits

There are a couple of things worth pointing out here. Those cacti are like bases in invaders. The bandits are shooting back at you, and it’s handy to hide behind the plants until they get blown to bits. That odd-looking striped red and yellow thing - well - I don’t know what it is, but it blocks your access to the bandits by following you around, and it fires at you too. Damned annoying.

Every so often, another inexplicable element in the game appears - it looks bizarrely like a greek “pathos” mask, or the mask from “V for Vendetta”. I have no way of explaining this in terms of the plot, but I haven’t managed to shoot the damned thing yet, so I don’t know what it does.

Occasionally, one of the bandits will get a move on, and leg it at top speed towards the jail, repeatedly removing bits of wall. These guys are a right pain in the posterior, and you have to shoot them sharpish.

I have to say, I really enjoyed this game. It came as a welcome relief after the drudgery of April Showers, and I commend it to you all as a great waste of time.

Four out of Five