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Bandana City

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Released: 1984

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: Commodore 64

Publisher: Interceptor Software

Developer: Anthony Barton

My collection is split over two locations, and one of those is about 150 miles away from where I live. It’s a pain – I can only retrieve hardware and software a few times a year, and everything has to be carried back and forth by train. I recently got a rare opportunity to spend time rearranging it all, and I was surprised by some of the things I found. There was a long-lost G-Con 45 in a carrier bag, a loose cassette of Midnight Resistance for the C64, and an old C64 head alignment tape with Bandana City on the B-side.

Bandana City isn’t a particularly great game, if only because the cowboy you control is the least rugged human being ever represented in a videogame – he’s so frail that he’ll keel over and die if his hat touches a rock, and I wish that was a joke instead of a simple statement of fact. If you somehow survive the first screen with the marauding hamburgers, you’ll get a horse and a gun with which to shoot bizarre lightning-emitting enemies that look a bit like Pac-Man.

I never particularly enjoyed Bandana City. Often I’d play it just because not doing so would seem like a waste, given the time investment involved in loading C64 games from tape. But whenever I saw that loading screen, I was always filled with joy as the head alignment had been successful – and that meant I could soon get on with playing far better games.