Those of you who've already listened to the second episode of The Nichiest Podcast Ever likely heard me mention this game during the "Cheerleading" segment. You also likely heard me say that I recently picked up a copy of this 1986 release, published by Victor Interactive.
Well, our friendly neighborhood mailman delivered the copy in question a few days ago, so I thought I'd snap and share a couple of photos of it (one of which can be seen below) and also strike up a bit of a conversation about this little-known--to non-Japanese audiences, at least--Famicom title.
As I said during the podcast, Banana's closest competitor in terms of gameplay is First Star Software's Boulder Dash, which tasks players with digging through caves, collecting gems and reaching exits while avoiding various dangerous creatures as well as obstacles like falling rocks.
Even that comparison is a bit of a stretch, though, since Boulder Dash is more action-oriented, while Banana is more of a puzzler.
As for why that is: In Banana, players also have to work their way to each level's exit, but here they're often forced to hash out their start-to-finish paths before they ever--or, rather, the game's anthropomorphic mole of a protagonist--take a step due to the sense of gravity that prevents them from moving upward unless they're near a ladder. In addition, a level can't be completed until every scattered piece of food (yes, including bananas) has been gathered and Mr. Mole's busty, bedressed wife has been retrieved and escorted to the aforementioned exit.
Should that description not make a lick of sense to you, take a look at this gameplay video, which, beginning at the 25-second mark, walks through Banana's first six stages.
See also: Previous 'Acquisition #123' posts