A&B Computing


Banjax
By Robico
BBC Model B

 
Published in A&B Computing 2.06

Banjax

If you have played Sabre Wulf and Labyrinth and enjoy that kind of game, you will certainly take to Banjax from Robico Software. It is described as a "machine code arcade adventure" where each location is displayed graphically and you move your man (bear!) around avoiding the gremlins and other nasties.

The object of the game is to collect as much treasure as possible to allow you to enter the castle and complete the adventure. Various characters block your way including spiders, snakes and birds. There are guards at the entrance to some rooms and locations who will only let you pass if you already have collected enough treasure to "be a worthy bear".

There are 240 screens in Banjax and the graphics are superb. Unlike Sabre Wulf and Labyrinth, the screen does not scroll in each direction but instead as you move off screen the next one appears immediately. This happens so fast that if you blink you would miss the changeover so I did not find that this spoiled the enjoyment of the game at all. The cassette comes with a notebook to help you keep track of where you are and a Help card is provided for you to send to Robico should you get stuck.

Banjax

Sound in the game is kept to a minimum I am glad to say. Too much racket going on in this type of game can become tedious when you consider you may be playing for several hours at a stretch. All that you hear is the quiet patter of the bear's feet as he moves and the inevitable squelch when you are gobbled up by one of the nasties.

There are some delightful characters in the game. Some bear a strong resemblance to those seen in Frak! All the locations are beautifully drawn and virtually every screen is different. A novel idea in Banjax is found in the "Information Alley" section where Robico have put adverts on the walls for other games they produce.

I was fortunate to get some reviewers notes for Banjax to assist me in playing it. You as an ordinary purchaser get very few instructions at all. This could lead to confusion regarding the collection of items as you move around. Initially you just pass over them and they are not picked up. Without giving too much away I will tell you that before you can collect the treasures lying around you will have to search for a certain item. No clues! I warn you though that you will have to search hard but when you stumble across it, you will realise why you couldn't pick up the items before. Happy hunting!

I strongly urge you to buy this game. It is only available mail order from the address given below however. Banjax is not difficult to play but it is certainly enjoyable. I cracked it over the course of few evenings but then I had notes to help me. Most people I think will take quite a bit longer than that and have themselves a lot of fun in the process.

Shingo Sugiura

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