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Time Pilot ’84

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Released: 1984

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Arcade

Publisher: Konami

Developer: Konami

Submitted by: Ian Marks

One of my favourite arcade games as a small boy was Konami’s Time Pilot. You see it was a great game, it had really cool graphics and sound, a little spinner for a joystick and most importantly I wasn’t completely awful at it like I was at most games. No for some reason I was quite good at Time Pilot, and once somebody who I did not know watched me play and commented that I played that really well. Of course they could have just been a strange man who liked watching young boys in the Brighton arcades… but I like to think it was my Time Pilot prowess that impressed him.

Anyway I digress because this review isn’t about Time Pilot, it’s about Time Pilot’84 which is a completely different game released in 1984. Do you see what they did there? In fact what is strange about Time Pilot ’84 is that in some ways it is a completely different game, whilst in other ways it is exactly the same game. Confused? Well read on…

There is a nagging suspicion in the back of my mind that ’84 is not actually a Time Pilot game at all. What evidence do I have for this? Well for a start it never actually tells you which date you are fighting in – unlike the original. Surely not telling you the time ever, takes something away from the title of Time Pilot. Also the ship doesn’t look as cool, rather being a spaceship rather than a jet fighter. Part of me thinks that this was a different game that Konami had lying around that they just stuck a Time Pilot label on, because that was quite a popular game.

However some things are the same. Your ship is controlled by a spinner, and you shoot the enemies in all directions. Once you shoot a set number and a boss you are teleported to the next level, where you can shoot some more things. The sound effects are absolutely Time Pilot, in fact they are exactly the same, just copied across from the earlier machine I think. Time Pilot ’84 adds missiles into the equation too, allowing you to shoot a few more things.. it really isn’t a deep game.

Is it any good? Well it’s alright.

Should you play it? Well you can if you want, but you’d be better off playing its older brother, as it’s the better and more fun game… and at least it mentions what time it is sometimes.