Monday, June 20, 2016

Moon Patrol



Get ready to play a legend

The moon is under attack from a legion of aliens and it's our job to stop them! We've managed to find ourselves a cute Space 1999 buggy which appears to mostly drive itself and even follows handy checkpoints to stop you from getting lost. Dust off your spacesuit in anticipation of the Atari ST version of an arcade classic...

With your foot always on the gas, you can only control the level of acceleration as you travel the terrain trying to avoid potholes and any obstacles which are in your way. Pushing up on the joystick allows you to leap over these but be careful because it will require precise timing. Unfortunately, the wheels aren't too great at going over potholes so the slightest gap causes my buggy to violently explode like something from an old cartoon!!


Don't let the graphics put you, youngsters, off playing what is nothing less than a beast!!


Simple mechanics and still tough!

There are two difficulty modes, beginners and champions. The latter is great fun and certainly more interesting to play with many extra features, obstacles and enemies. Whatever you chose the landscape is hostile and made even worse by invading aliens who frequently appear from all corners. Don't run away, there are weapons!!

Banging on that fire button simultaneously shoots two weapons: at the top, is a machine gun firing upwards and there is also a front-mounted rocket launcher for anything that gets in your way. So keep one eye on the road ahead and another on those aliens. This is a lot harder than you might think so keep on firing and hope for the best!


Hang on, there are mountains in the background and with snow too... ;-)


Aesthetics

Graphics appear dated, so exactly what you would expect from the early 80s. Scrolling is silky smooth supporting a three-layer parallax effect, which is pretty amazing for such an early arcade game. Perhaps it's the first Atari ST game to feature such an effect? It's impressive and I love the basic decor and details like the buggy's animation travelling over the bumpy terrain. Also, Moon Patrol works in ST High (640x400) and look gorgeous.

A funky chiptune bops away in the background, accompanied by vintage bleeps for the sound effects.


The checkpoint idea is great for a number of reasons plus it's fun breaking a record.


The CryptO'pinion?

Moon Patrol is an excellent conversion that offers a groovy step back in time to 1982. This is instantaneous fun and I love how its troublesome landscape combines the pothole hopping whilst frantically trying to shoot down the aliens. It's tough but very addictive so keep your eyes on the road otherwise - KABOOM! Instant moon junk!!

This is an authentic conversion of an arcade classic with rock-solid playability and is retrogaming gold. Love it.


- DOWNLOADS & LINKS -


Old Games Finder has access to all the floppy disks
8BitChip has a version for hard drive installation!

Strategy Wiki lists the many versions of Moon Patrol
(go on, guess which is the beST)

Here is their walkthrough which I thought was pretty funny.

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