|Release date||July 1, 1991|
|Genre||Vertically scrolling shooter|
|Game modes||Single-player, 2 player co-op|
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Neo Geo|
Ghost Pilots is a vertical-scrolling shooter released in 1991 by SNK.
The game's mechanics are basically straight forward with elements similar to that of Capcom's 1941, 1942 and 1943 Counterstrike, but it has incredible difficulty even in the easiest difficulty level. Unlike most scrolling shooters, the vehicle is a seaplane instead of ship or airplane. As the in-game instructions indicate, move the joystick around to maneuver the seaplane. Press the A Button to fire bullets. The player can also hold the A button for a semi-automatic fire, which isn't useful at all. Press the B Button to launch bombs from the inventory. The Player starts with 3 bombs.
Next the player has to choose the bomb types for the seaplane. In the first and last stage, the player has a choice to start with either the mega bomb or the magnetic warhead. In the sea strike stage, the player also has the gas flame bomb to choose. In the air strike stage, the player also has the air mines to choose. In a 2 player game, both players cannot choose the same bomb type.
The player has to battle airplanes, tanks, gunboats, jets and many other units. Along the way Power ups can be collected for stronger and more widespread firepower, star medals can be collected for bonus points and bombs can be added to the inventory for more bomb attacks. A player can have a maximum of 9 bombs. Soon the player has to face a big boss, consisting of jumbo bombers, Godzilla-sized tanks and other large war machines. The player needs to aim for weak points to destroy the bosses. Some bosses fire dangerous fireballs that split when shot by the player, making the battle more difficult. The player is destroyed when shot once by enemy fire or rams into an enemy unit, then the player has to continue with the next seaplane left in the inventory. The first stage is two part which means there is no checkpoint in between. When the player reaches a checkpoint, the overall score is boosted. After the first stage the player can choose to do either the sea strike stage or the air strike stage first. The sea strike stage consists of mostly sea and land units while the air strike stage consists of a majority of air units. If the player makes it past both stages, the last stage is two part and then the player must face a tank boss the size of a city to win the game.