Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Time Soldier

Let's kill people!

The conversion of Time Soldiers was released in 1989 by Electrocoin and is based on the vertically shoot 'em up not too dissimilar to something like Ikari Warriors. The story goes that Gylend has captured a few of our friends who are held captive in different time-periods. So it's up to us to rescue them - gotta say I like the idea of the time zones.

I've not played the arcade game, but I see there is a slight name change - that means we're running solo. This would be understandable but we are given only one life which should make the quest rather difficult - unless the game is rewarding during play. Before beginning, we're given the name and location of our captured warrior - but the teleporter can send us somewhere different. Which is odd and means you gotta plough through to the correct portal.

So initial impressions are a little worrying? Let's take a peep at some screenshots...

I love the colour schemes throughout which nicely represent the original game.

Lots of action and even more death and destruction. I love it!

Shoot. Kill. Kill even more!

Each of the time periods has a change of graphics but basically follows the same format as you might expect. These areas are stuffed full of enemies that need killing, which is most satisfying. Those slain in battle leave goodies that should be collected for a power boost. Health can also be replenished that is needed because every contact drains you dry.

A boss is featured at the end of level and most are rather easy to kill. However, my power-ups sometimes ran out during the lead-up to this fight, which then makes it nigh on impossible to win!

There's nothing mind-blowing about Time Soldier; the gameplay is a cross between something like Wanted or Commando. I wasn't sure about the scrolling which often left me vulnerable to any baddies off-screen. I was never going to like the one-life aspect too so I'm beginning to pick flaws and I wonder who beta-tested this arcade conversion?

A good game that needed a little extra thought but that won't stop me from pushing some more screenshots...

Even Rambo wouldn't be able to survive this onslaught!

Those higher up have an advantage. But I'm still going to kill them.


I like the graphics in Time Soldier; from start to end, it's colourful and detailed. The backgrounds are great but we also have some of the silliest sprites. Not so much their appearance but how they attack in waves which means the screen is often cluttered with bullets and explosions- which I loved! It's maddening and frantic and chaotic. Loved it.

Heck, the game is even making use of overscan without any negative impact on the scrolling. Which always remains smooth so I am very impressed with the technical efforts that went into making this action shooter.

The music is well-balanced against the sound effects and suits the gameplay well. Zero complaints.

Hey, one final run of screenshots...

The purple works a treat providing another environment that is unique and fun.

This looks scary and tough. Well, more tough than scary but hey, what more can be said about it?

The CryptO'pinion?

This game was fun to play! However, I had mixed feelings: I wasn't too keen on the scrolling method which can sometimes fail to keep up with the player. Also, having one life is very restricting and forces you down the road of a trainer. Don't get me wrong, it's quite an authentic conversion in many respects but this insane design makes it very difficult.

Having said that, Time Soldier is actually an entertaining shooter in its own right. The levels are always interesting and brimming with lots of meaningless gameplay. This is pure gun love and will provide a few hours of fantastic action. For all its flaws, I enjoyed this peculiar conversion a bunch. Just be prepared to play with a trainer for extra lives!

Time Cops can download for floppy or hard disk.


  1. Pretty difficult without the twisting controls the arcade had, at least games like this sometimes offered you to hold the fire button down and you don't turn direction but can still move around.

    At least you had music & sound effects in the game, that's always nice!

    1. Apologies mate, I appear to have missed this comment... Yeah I heard the differences of the controls and it's understandable it'd be better in the arcade compared to what the ST's one-button could manage. Still, I liked how it worked. Quirky game this one!


Even More ATARI ST Articles

Like what I do?