Format reviewed: Arcade
Released by: Irem/Williams/Midway
Also released on: Atari VCS/2600, Atari 5200, Atari 800, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Commodore VIC-20, MSX, Gameboy Color, Dreamcast*, PlayStation 2* (*on Midway compilations)
Available now on: Nowt
|The name of this game is Moon Patrol! They call it Moon Patrol!|
You're playing Moon Patrol!
Where is this all leading? I have no idea. Somehow, it was going to link into a lookback at the video game Moon Patrol. I was going to say something about the moon landings being genuine, but the photographs being fake, and that's why conspiracy theorists have wet dreams about finding flaws in them. Yep, the photographs were fake, because rather than the moon being the dull, white-grey, rocky and cratered world that the photographs suggest it is, it's actually a multi-coloured world populated by hostile aliens, landmines and all kinds of problems. NASA didn't want us to know this, as it would cause all kinds of chaos here on Earth, so they faked the photographs and videos that we saw. Irem, somehow, got hold of the real footage, and ten years after Man's last trip to the Moon, they created a game based on the exploits of the Apollo astronauts, a game based on the truth. Moon Patrol was it's name, and patrolling the Moon was the game.
|Spaceships and craters, oh my!|
Levels are split in areas, marked by ascending letters of the alphabet from A to zee. Each time you die, you are taken back to the start of the last letter you reached. Every now and again, you can have a break when you reach certain areas ("E", "J", "O", "T" and "Z"). If you have got to them in record time, you get a bonus. If not, you get nothing.
|Moon buggy has transformed into a rainbow splodge.|
His wheels are flying out of control. Oh no!
|This confrontation looks interesting.|
So, yes, Moon Patrol is a great game. It's fun, addictive, challenging, and for its time, technically impressive. It was converted to several machines, although I've never actually played any version other than the arcade, so there's potential for a Conversions Comparison at some point. This game, along with Phoenix and Pac-Land, was one of the very first arcade games I played, so it has a special place in my heart, and I'm pleased that my decision to revisit the game hasn't changed my opinion of it at all.
Okay, I might be a bit biased due to this game being one from my childhood, but I really do like it!
As is becoming standard now, here's a video I've put together to demonstrate Moon Patrol in action!