Time Soldiers (SMS)

Time Soldiers Box Art

Time Soldiers

System: SMS

Release Date: May 1989

Developer: Alpha Denshi

Publisher: Sega

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up

Time Soldiers is a typical top down shoot ‘em up with free movement. Very similar in look to Gun.Smoke and The Ninja. Gylend is a galactic tyrant and has turned his attention to the Earth. You play as Yohan (and Ben in two player mode) and you need to blast your way through time to save five of your comrades.

That’s right, you move through five different time periods on your quest to save your troopers. You can move in all eight directions with the d-pad and you’re going to have to in order to get through each level. Some levels scroll up, but not all of them do, which can catch you off guard if you’re not expecting it. You have unlimited bullets in your main gun, which you shoot with Button 1. Most enemies die in one hit, but some take multiple shots before death. There are powerups that occasionally appear as you kill enemies. The Speed-Up increases your speed. The Power-Up makes weapons fully automatic, but drain energy. The Warp takes you straight to the final boss of the stage.

You can also pick up a secondary weapon after killing certain enemies. The Tri-Shot does as it says and shoots out in three directions. The Missile shoots straight and fast. The Energy Gun is similar. These secondary weapons have limited ammo and are best saved for the mid-bosses and big bosses. One of the gameplay hooks is when you get to the end of a segment of a stage, you fight a mid-boss. Once defeated, they leave a time portal open. You can either hop into the portal or continue on your way. If you stay on the same stage, your secondary weapon powers up. You may want to stay if the level you’re on is where the time soldier is located.

Graphics: 1.0

Sprite graphics are nothing special. Background sprites are alright.

Sound: 1.0

Music and sound effects are nothing special and not particularly good.

Gameplay: 1.5

Enemies are constantly respawning, Drops are very infrequent.

Difficulty: 1.5

Finding your way to the final boss to save each trooper can be difficult.

Fun Factor: 1.0

It’s alright, but I definitely bailed before the end, because it wasn’t good.

Overall Grade: 1.2

Time Soldiers earns a D+. This isn’t quite as bad as Commando, but damn, it’s been two and a half years!

Time Soldiers Video Review on YouTube