Time Pilot is a battle through five different time zones, from the year 1910 through to 2001. You control a very maneouverable fighter plane armed with rapid-firing bullets. Your plane can turn to face in any of 8 directions and it can turn through 360 degrees, firing at many different angles.
On each level you encounter different enemy planes/ships which must be destroyed. A bar at the bottom left of the screen decreases each time an enemy is shot down, and when the bar is cleared a boss ship appears which must be destroyed to allow you to advance to the next level.
On every every level there are bonus points to collect in the form of parachutists which float down the screen and you can rescue them by flying into them. Each parachutist you collect is worth 1,000 points more than the last up to a maximum of 4,000 points.
If a group of enemies arrive onscreen at the same time (preceeded by an audio tone) you will be awarded a 2,000 point bonus for shooting down all the enemies in the formation.
Time Zone 1 - 1910 AD. The first, and obviously the easiest level, pitting your advanced fighter against biplanes. You must destroy the set number of planes, and once all the required planes are destroyed, an airship appears which must be hit multiple times to destroy it. Once it explodes you move on to level 2. The biplanes are fairly slow moving, and their bullets are quite easy to avoid.
Time Zone 2 - 1940 AD. Here your fighter is pitted against WW2 planes. There are periodical appearances from a bomber which can be destroyed for bonus points. Also the planes shoot missiles at you from time to time, which have to be shot or avoided. Once the required number of planes are destroyed a large bomber appears, which when destroyed takes you on to level three.
Time Zone 3 - 1970 AD. Your fighter versus helicopters. Helicopters move faster than the adversaries in the previous two levels and also fire bullets at you a lot more frequently. They also fire homing missiles which track your movement, and these are tricky to avoid among all the action. However, they can be shot down and destroyed. Once enough helicopters have been shot down, a large helicopter appears which must be shot to advance to the next level.
Time Zone 4 - 1982 AD. You are matched against enemy fighters which are identical to your own. They have the same abilities you do, as well as the extra capability to fire homing missiles as in the previous level. The missiles and bullets in this level are faster than in level 3, and much more difficult to avoid. Once you shoot down enough fighters, a large jet appears which must be destroyed to go on to level 5.
Time Zone 5 - 2001 AD. The final level sees your fighter matched against enemy UFO's. The UFO's are very fast and fire spinning shots and homing missiles at you at very fast speeds, making them very difficult to avoid. Once enough UFO's are destroyed, a large mothership appears which must be shot to complete the level.
Once all five levels have been completed the game continues, restarting at time zone 1.
Level 1 Biplane: 100 points.
Level 1 Missile: 100 points.
End of Level 1 Airship: 3,000 points.
Level 2 Fighter: 200 points.
Level 2 Missile: 100 points.
Level 2 Bomber: 1,500 points.
End of Level 2 Bomber: 3,000 points.
Level 3 Helicopter: 300 points.
Level 3 Homing Missile: 100 points.
End of Level 3 Helicopter: 3,000 points.
Level 4 Fighter: 100 points.
Level 4 Homing Missile: 100 points.
End of Level 4 Fighter: 3,000 points.
Level 5 UFO: 100 points.
Level 5 Homing Missile: 100 points.
Level 5 Missile: 300 points.
End of Level 5 Mothership: 3,000 points.
Formation Bonus: 2,000 points.
Parachutist: Increments by 1,000 points from 1,000 points up to a maximum of 4,000 points.
The enemy planes/ships find it hardest to shoot you when you are moving in a diagonal direction, so move this way the majority of the time. Just remember to watch your back!
Since your ship is very manoeuverable you can turn through 180 degrees very quickly to pick off an enemy directly behind you. Simply move the joystick or use the keys to face in the opposite direction and you will flip round.
Homing missiles - keep firing to destroy them. Alternatively, move your fighter so that the missiles move off screen, and they do not return.
The boss ships always move horizontally across the screen. Wait until they pass you, and then move directly behind them. You can then shoot them at will to destroy them.
Concentrate on collecting the parachutists where possible, as these represent your biggest potential points haul. On the second level you can leave a few planes remaining and collect parachutists for as long as possible, as this level has no homing missiles and also more parachutists than level one.
If you are killed by colliding with an enemy ship you are registered with the points as if you had shot it. This means extra lives are still awarded and also if you collide with the end of level boss you will advance to the next level, providing you have at least one life remaining.