Another Sunday means another episode of 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die, the (hopefully) weekly series where I play through all of the games listed in the book - 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. If I played the game before, then I will share my memory of the experience. If I haven't played the game before, then I find an online version or an emulator and I play the game (for at least 30 minutes). This is a book every gamer should have in their library, and if you're interested in purchasing it, you can find it here.

Last week was Tron, one of my favorite arcade games from the 1980s. The fact it also had a great movie to go along with it didn't hurt its reputation. I was surprised there were some who hadn't heard of Tron since it was so popular back in the day, but I guess since that was over 30 years ago I shouldn't be. Seems like it was just yesterday. Once again, I went from a game I was quite familiar with to another obscure title I don't recall ever playing. You know what that means...find it and play it. This week's featured game is...

Time Pilot

Time Pilot is a multi-directional scrolling shooter and free-roaming aerial combat arcade game designed by Yoshiki Okamoto, released by Konami in 1982, and distributed in the United States by Centuri. Debuting in the golden age of video arcade games, it is a time travel themed game that allowed the player's plane to freely move across open air space that can scroll indefinitely in all directions. The Killer List of Videogames included Time Pilot in its list of top 100 arcade games of all time.

The player assumes the role of a pilot of a futuristic fighter jet, trying to rescue fellow pilots trapped in different time eras. The player must fight off hordes of enemy craft and defeat the mother ship (or "boss") present in every level. The background moves in the opposite direction to the player's plane, rather than the other way around; the player's plane always remains in the center. (Source: Wikipedia)

As I mentioned above, I'm not sure if I've played the game or not. I might be thinking of the spinoff - Time Pilot 84, but I'm not for sure. It sounds very familiar, but I don't have any specific memories of the game, so I went ahead and found a place to play it online.

Apparently the game has different vehicles depending on how far you make it. I didn't make it too far, but from what I read the motor pool goes something like this.

1910: Biplanes and a blimp

1940: WWII monoplanes and a B-25

1970: Helicopters and a large, blue CH-47

1982 Jets and a B-52

2001: UFOs

It's kind of funny to think when the developers created the game, 2001 was way in the future and had UFOs. Yeah, that was only 13 years ago.

TRIVIA: The Game Boy Advance version of Time Pilot in Konami Arcade Classics includes a hidden sixth era, 1,000,000 BC, where the player must destroy vicious pterodactyls in order to return to the early 20th century.

Time Pilots reminds me a lot of the old Atari 2600 game I used to play - Combat. You basically fly around while trying to dodge and shoot all of the bad guys on the screen. You can fly in any direction which was revolutionary for that time. Sadly, there are no power ups or special weapons. Try as I might, I never made it very far...which is okay, because apparently the game has no end. If you're able to advance through all the levels, they repeat, only harder. The game is pretty straightforward...not much to say about it. The co-author who wrote the entry in the book for this game seem enamored by the start screen and how polite it was with asking you to insert a coin to play the game.


Time Pilots is the latest game I've been able to mark off the list of 1,001 games I have to play before I die. I can think of plenty of other games I might've picked over this game to feature in the book, but it definitely has an early arcade feel to it. If you've played it before you might be interested in playing it again, to relive old memories. And if you've never played it before, you might enjoy trying it to see what games were like back then and how far we've come. Check it out here.

I'm not sure what game is up next week, so be sure to check back and see if it is something you've played or not. Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a great week.


Previous Episodes:

Episode 1: 01 - 05 (here)

Episode 2: 06 - 10 (here)

Episode 3: 11 - 15 (here)

Episode 4: 16 - 20 (here)

Episode 5: 21 - 25 (here)

Episode 6: 26 - 30 (here)

Episode 7: 31 - 35 (here)

Episode 8: 36 - 40 (here)

Episode 41 (here)

Episode 42 (here)

Episode 43 (here)

Episode 44 (here)

Episode 45 (here)