Moon Patrol Game
By Mark Nobes, chief editor
The overall aim of the game is pretty simple; Jump over the craters and shoot your way out of trouble for as long as you possibly can without losing all of your lives.
The player takes on the role of a lunar city police officer, and is in control of a moon buggy driving on the moon's surface. Well, I guess that's what moon buggies are for! There are several hazards and enemies to avoid - craters, rocks, mines, firing tanks and two different UFOs which fly above you. One of the UFOs leaves a crater when it fires down, making the player's journey even more perilous.
If you're not very good at multi-tasking (like myself) then you are likely to struggle with this game. It can be pretty challenging trying to time your jumps and also avoid or fire at enemies hurtling towards you from the right of the screen and also above you. This is definitely a thinking man's shooter, but as the old saying goes, "practice makes perfect", and after playing a level a few times, you will be able to memorise where many of the obstacles are, as they do not appear randomly, although it's all too easy to have a memory lapse and go plunging into a crater!
Extra lives are given at 10,000, 30,000, and 50,000 points; but after this, no more are awarded, which makes for a tough challenge!. The maximum possible score is 999,990 points, and after this it will simply revert back to 0, although the player can continue playing the game.
Overall, I really enjoyed playing the arcade game back in the 80s, and it had an addictive quality that made it hard to resist inserting another coin and playing one more time, or until you're thrown out of the arcade! It was definitely a thinking man's shooter game.
Title screen from the 1982 arcade version by Irem Corp.
The green city
Atari 8 Bit Version
Screenshot from the Atari 800XL version
Atari 2600 Version
Commodore 64 Version
Apple II Version