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The Arcade Graveyard: Ghoulishly We Play

Dog Fight, Time Pilot, Time Pilot 84, Sinistar

I was playing an arcade game called Dog Fight, and I couldn't help but think it was very similar to Time Pilot, minus the time travelling destruction.  You have waves of enemies attacking you on a vertical screen, and they launch missiles at you.  You destroy waves of these ships and up comes stronger enemies with more weapons firing at you.  After destroying the bigger ships, you complete the level,  your kills are added up, and you head to the next wave of enemies.  The sounds on both games are forgettable, but the similarity of the games to me is there.  Oh yeah, then there's Time Pilot 84, which adds ground enemies and lock-on missiles. 

Or are these titles just evolving or borrowing from Sinistar, which had it right from the beginning in 1982.    The goal was to destroy the Sinistar while avoiding hoards of enemy ships as you try to harvest Sinibombs, the only weapon that can kill the Sinistar, from the asteroids and space rocks floating around.  If you didn't collect the Sinibombs, the enemy ships would collect them and use them to build the Sinistar.  So they're using your weapon against you.  Not to mention that when Sinistar was complete, he mocked you as he flew after you, and was extremely fast in his attacks.  Instead of shooting you or blasting you out of the sky, this thing ate your ship!  Did I mention he was fast?  In face, the whole game was insanely fast, the Godfather of twitch gaming, maybe? 

Williams did all of this before the other three were even released, which makes me wonder why the other titles appear so dated.  Hmm.  Oh yeah, of course Sinistar lands on our "must play" list of highly recommended games, even though the difficulty level is high and the game pisses me off.

Dog Fight, nice and simple.


Time Pilot, simple and nice, with added 360 degree battleground in the sky.

Time Pilot 84, simple and so-so, with bland futuristic fighting and the addition of lock-on missiles for the player.

Sinistar did it right in the first place, didn't it?

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