Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Time Soldier

The conversion of Time Soldiers was released in 1989 by Electrocoin and is based on the vertically shoot 'em up which isn't too dissimilar to something like Ikari Warriors. The story goes that big bad Gylend has captured a few of our friends, who are now held captive in different time periods, so it's up to us to find and rescue each one.

Now, I've not played the arcade game but I can see there's a slight name change which basically means we're running solo. That would be (almost) understandable but we're only given the one life which makes the whole adventure rather difficult. Before setting out, we're given the name and location of our captured warrior but those wonky teleporters will often send us somewhere different which means you gotta plough through and find another portal. So keep your fingers crossed it gets the job done correctly this time... (don't hold your breath!)

Each one of the time periods has a change of graphics but is basically the same format. These places are stuffed full of enemies that need killing and slain baddies leave behind goodies which should be collected - otherwise, your sucky weapon is near useless. Health can also be replenished which is always needed as every contact drains you dry. There's usually a lame boss monster looking for a fight but most are rather easy. Weirdly, my power-ups ran out during the big boss fights which made it nigh on impossible to win - unless you're cheating like me!

Having never played the original means I'm in the dark a little but I've watched videos and this doesn't feel like the same game. It's more a cross between something like Wanted or Commando yet doesn't impress nearly as much because it's pretty slow and the scrolling will pause unless you remain close to the top of the screen - which only leaves you vulnerable to any off-screen baddies! Sadly, it's too darn difficult having only one life and there are no arcade-style continues which means I rarely got past the second level and I wonder who beta tested this!

I quite like the graphics in Time Soldier, sprites are nicely detailed and they usually attack in waves so expect the screen cluttered with enemy fire - which I love. Heck, it's even making use of overscan and the scrolling is pretty smooth. The background music is balanced well against the sound effects and suits the gameplay very well.

I've enjoyed Time Soldier but I have mixed feelings: what I didn't like is the scrolling method which doesn't work well but only having one life is the real killer and the reason why I cheated for my longplay recording!! If you're expecting an authentic arcade conversion then brace yourself for disappointment. However, in its own right, this is a rather good shoot 'em up with progressively interesting levels that offer lots of action. #TooToughWithoutCheating!

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!