Here we round again

Time Soldier logo

OH no! Gylend the evil dimension conquering mega beat from planet Dull has captured some of my friends. Guess I'll just have to go and rescue them won't I?

Huh, what do you know - that sly fox Gylend has hidden them back in the depths of time. Oh well, where's the guidebook for Rome. Yup, first stop Primitive Age, and a tussle with Roman legionaries. Ere mate, mind where you're sticking your Pilum!

And some people say computers are elitist and for the intelligentsia. My mother could come up with a better plot than this. So what does it all mean for you, the guy on the other end of the joystick?

Well, what it means is that there are a number of different vertically scrolling levels set in different time periods, offering a variety of foes to waste. At various points during these levels something big and horrible, pops up and has to be dispatched.

Whether you can perform the job of temporal postman, depends on two factors. Factor One: A reasonable measure of joystick waggling ability. Factor Two: Have you got the big boy versions of the rocket and lasers that appear along the way? If not you ain't got a snowflake in hell's chance.

Ah yes, there's also the energy replenishment icons which are decidedly essential as well. But the rub is this: If you have the top super wobbly version of either laser or rockets then you can blast everything going and pick up all the energy and stuff you like.

If you don't acquire big boy equipment quickly enough, you won't last long because you only get one life. Ah well, that's the disadvantage of having a coin-op board manufacturer converting to home computers.

Sadly, Electrocoin has yet to realise that what goes in the fast coinage turnover arcades does not necessarily go in the home market.
The graphics are all right, there are a lot of people rushing towards you that need killing, the music is total rubbish and the scrolling is quite smooth.

What's wrong is that the individual levels go on and on, and even repeat themselves. Commando on the Commodore 64 has more colourful graphics, miles better music, and much better gameplay. And that game came out years ago. Time Soldier is really not good enough at all, and is simply a homage to mediocrity.

Time Soldier logo

ELECTROCOIN £24.95 * Joystick

The Earth is in danger. The seven Earth Commandos responsible for the protection of the planet have been captured of the planet have been captured on a mission to attack the evil Gylend. Five of the commandos have been enslaved and sent into the voids of time with little hope of rescue.

Only two of the commando's survived - Yohan and Ben - who must now battle through various time zones, from the Primitive Era through Medieval Japan to Future World, fighting off all manner of historic creatures and warriors in an attempt to rescue their captured comrades.

All the commandos must be freed before they can travel to Gylend's domain and put the tyrant to rest once and for all.

You control one of the Commandos on his perilous quest through time, starting off with a limited energy supply and a measly single-shot weapon.

Along the way you find additional items such as speed-up devices, three-way cannons, missile launchers and laser weapons. You must use these items to blast your way through Gylend's defences and rescue your friends. But take care, since once your energy runs out it's time for you to disappear off to the great big time machine in the sky.


Despite being based on a well-presented coin-op, the Amiga version of Time Soldier is rather unimpressive in both graphics and sound departments. The scrolling is slow, the sprites small and scrappily animated and the sound is weak to say the least. If an arcade conversion is to be a hit nowadays, these are the things that most care has to be taken over, but Electrocoin have simply 'made do' with a rough interpretation of the original.


From the outset Time Soldier is a difficult and frustrating game to play, but even if you do manage to get any significant distance into the game, the gameplay doesn't alter to any extent. This goes to make a game which is annoying and repetitive, which will undoubtedly cause even the most dedicated coin-op fans to give up in short order.


Time Soldier seems to be a throwback to the days when coin-op conversions first began to appear on home computers. Fans would simply go out and buy the game just for the name, regardless of the quality. However in this day and age of superb graphics, first-rate conversions and brilliant games, a real effort has to be made to ensure that the translation stands up well as a game in its own right.

Unfortunately Time Soldier does not make really manage this, seeming much like a case of "let's get the name out, quick". Even if you are a fan of the original don't leap straight in, because this is a below-par implementation of a rather forgettable coin-op.

Time Soldier logo

Der Label Electrocoin war bisher nur als Automatenaufsteller bekannt, mit diesem Game steigen die Jungs von der Insel erstmals in den Heimcomputermarkt ein. Wie nicht anders zu vermuten, handelt es sich dabei um ein reinrassiges Ballerspiel...

Der größenwahnsinnige Gylend will die Erde erobern und all ihre Bewohner versklaven. Sieben glorreiche Recken machen sich deshalb auf den Weg, um ihn zu vernichten.

Dummerweise erfährt der Schurke von der Aktion, schnappt sich fünf der Helden, verwandelt sie in riesige Feuerbälle und schleudert sie in ein Zeitloch. Dort werden sie dann auf immer und ewig dahinvegetieren - es sei denn, Ben und Yohan, die beiden Übriggebliebenen kämpfen sich erfolgreich durch fünf Zeitepochen und befreien ihre Kameraden.

In jedem Level sind die Sprites und Landschaftsgrafiken typisch für die jeweilige Epoche: Im alten Rom geht es Legionären und dreiköpfigen Drachen an den Kragen, in Japan wird auf Samurai geballert und im dritten Weltkrieg bekommt man es mit Soldaten, Panzern und Flugzeugen zu tun.

Getroffene Gegner hinterlassen Extras, diverse Balken am unteren Screenrand geben Auskunft über Munitionsümenge, Lebens- und Schutzschildenergie.

Alles in allem also nix Besonderes? Ja und nein: Zwar ist das Spielprinzip schon etwas angestaubt, aber Time Soldier spielt sich einfach prächtig! Hinzu kommt der fetzige Sound, der einen zu immer weiteren Versuchen antriebt.

Nur die Grafik (speziell die grobkörnigen Explosionen!) macht einen etwas kläglichen Eindruck - eigentlich schade... (C. Borgmeier)

Time Soldier logo

Electrocoin Software, Amiga £24.95

This SNK coin-op takes place in the aftermath of a cock-up, with the majority of a seven-man commando soon beginning their quest to stop Gylend, the mighty space dictator. In the coin-op Yohan and Ben survive to provide simultaneous two-player action, but the Amiga and C64 conversions have only one survivor whose companions have been scattered through five Ages.

As you massacre Gylend's minions objects are dropped which can improve your weapon with Tri-Shoot, Missiles and Lasers. A Big Boss at each level's end guards one of your colleagues. Should the going get tough, you can use a warp gate to hop to another Age.

Robin Hogg Whatever went wrong with this conversion? The C64 game lacked the simultaneous two-player mode but made up for it with some impressive blitter-style guardians amongst other things. Unbelievably the Amiga game lacks even an alternate two-player mode - I though two-player action was a trademark of these Ikari Warriors-style games! There's certainly a challenge with five worlds to go through; a pity it drove us up the wall trying to get through ONE level with NO continue plays and NO desperately needed energy pods. You really do learn to loathe the multiload. And this is supposed to be the most faithful conversion? Try again Electrocoin!
Scorelord I was disappointed with the extreme difficulty of the C64 game and hoped for more of the Amiga game. Unfortunately it's even more difficult, there isn't a two-player mode and the graphics are disappointing with a poor main sprite and mediocre animation generally. Gameplay is incredibly hard and made even more irritating by the painful delay in restarting the game when you die. If you've the patience, the five levels and graphic variety might provide a satisfying challenge, but I got very little enjoyment out of this.