This week’s Retro Game of the Week is Konami‘s Time Pilot, an old favorite from the early 80’s that made sure you did not take your eyes off the screen because if you did, even for a second, you’d immediately turn into a fireball. i.e., you’ll die.
In Time Pilot you control a futuristic (for 1982) spacecraft, fighting off enemies in different times: 1910, 1940, 1982 and finally, the distant future…aka 2001 where the enemies are alien saucers. Unfortunately, after beating 2001, you teleport right back to 1910, and the game repeats for as long as you can survive. The 1984 sequel in TimePilot ’84 expanded greatly on the concept and while we won’t go into detail here, we’ll probably have to review it as a Retro Game of the Week feature at some point.
Time Pilot is a Multidirectional Shooter, meaning that your spacecraft can rotate 360 degrees in order to shoot down its enemies. Unlike another classic Multidirectional Shooter like Asteroids (which is quite similar to Time Pilot when you think about it), your craft in Time Pilot is fixed in the center of the screen. The motion of the clouds and enemy planes coming at you are there to create the illusion that you’re actually moving. All you need to do is shoot like mad and avoid them, hoping that your bullet spray will take them out before they get you.
Time Pilot is best played with a joystick as game pads (like the 8Bitdo) don’t give you a great range of motion and are prone to really tiring out your thumb.
Here’s some classic Time Pilot gameplay to enjoy:
Designer: Yoshiki Okamoto
Platform: Arcade, Atari 2600, MSX, ColecoVision
Genre: Multidirectional Shooter