When Time Pilot 84 appeared, anyone who saw it
gasped at its fabulous 3D bas-relief graphics. In fact
it's true to say that TP 84 has influenced quite
a few programmers and is responsible for a lot of the
3D bas relief games around today (Paradroid and
Z for example).
Space Pilot II is a version of TP 84,
although it doesn't contain all the elements
of the arcade game -- in TP 84 there were ground
targets to strafe; Anirog's version hasn't any.
II is a classic shoot em up in the respect that
there is no objective to the game other than to stay
alive and score as many points as possible by killing
anything that moves. The game takes place over an eight
way scrolling landscape and plays very similarly to
Asteroids -- your ship can be rotated through
360 degrees as it flies over the surface of the alien
alien craft emerge from the sides of the screen and
try to ram your ship, putting you in a kill or be killed
situation. Occasionally a formation of three craft emerges,
shoot them all and you get a points bonus. Being rammed
isn't the only worry -- the aliens also fire deadly
heat-seeking missiles which chase you around the screen
until you either destroy them or shake-them off.
game has several different 'stages' which get more and
more difficult as you progress through them. To move
from one stage to another you have to survive on a stage
for a set amount of time. This time is shown on screen
as a bar which slowly ticks down. When it reaches zero
the landscape dissolves and your ship is automatically
transported to the next, more difficult stage. There
are four different landscapes in all, although they
do change colour once you've been through them all.
basic gameplay doesn't change as you go through the
levels, although the aliens become faster and more cunning
and the heat seeking missiles really home in at speed.
An extra life is awarded for every 30,000 points you
score, and you certainly need them.
rather unusual feature of SP II is that it allows
up to eight players to compete against one another in
the same game -- useful if you've got a load of mates
round and they all want a go.