#40 Moon Patrol

Posted: 28th June 2016 by Jeroen in Games
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522th played so far


Genre: Action
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1982
Developer: Irem
Publisher: Irem

Moon Patrol is a name that evokes plenty of options. If it was a survival horror, we’d be crawling around tense tunnels. In other shooters we might be running over the surface. When in the 80s, an action arcade game makes it almost look like a racing game instead.

Our Thoughts

My initial note on this game was ‘slow and methodical’. This isn’t a racer and you’re not trying to get to the end as quickly as possible. And with that, the game’s limitations don’t feel like a limitation of technology (although I’m sure that aspect is there) but just as much an intentional design choice. Only fire ahead and straight up? That’s how your car works, and that’s all you would get.

What made the game even more interesting – in a way not often repeated – is that the environment changes based on what happens. In particular, enemy missiles create craters in the ground that you have to jump over (you can’t go up or down at an angle, it just kills you). It makes the game feel a lot more dynamic. Even if it’s simple, it’s very effective.

The looks are simple, enemies somewhat varied, but not the most complicated. Visually it works, but has nothing specifically to recommend it. It’s really what it is.

Final Thoughts

The game isn’t anything complicated, but it all fits together nicely without asking too much of the player. It’s still a tricky and fun game, but at times very much of its time.