Some classic arcade moon patrolling action
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I'm Gaming Jay: Youtube gamer, let's player, retrogaming fan, and determined optimist... Join me in this series while I try out EVERY game in the book 1001 VIDEO GAMES YOU MUST PLAY BEFORE YOU DIE, before I die. The game review for each game will focus on the question of whether you MUST play this game before you die. But to be honest, the game reviews are just for fun, this series is more about the YouTube gamer journey. Let's try out those classic retro games we grew up with, have fond memories of, or heard of but never got a chance to try! And with that said, the game review for today is...
Genre(s) Side-Scrolling Shooter
Moon Patrol is a classic arcade action game that sees you driving your way across the moon tundra, shooting up a variety of bad guys along the way. In addition to shooting up enemy ships that appear above you, you'll have to shoot enemy tanks, jump over rocks, jump over pits, and jump over mines! The gameplay here is an interesting mix of a scrolling shooter game, mixed with a vertical shooter like Space Invaders, mixed with some early arcade jumping mechanics like in Donkey Kong. It's an odd mix, and it takes some practice to get used to it, but it's not bad.
Regarding graphics, Moon Patrol was one of the early games to use parallax scrolling backgrounds to give the illusion of depth, and for its time the graphics are quite impressive. As you drive across the moon you'll see a variety of mountains and cities in the background, which mixes things up more than some of the other early arcade games which featured blank, black backgrounds.
The levels are broken down into a series of checkpoints, and if you died you are restored at the closest checkpoint. I thought originally that when you reach the final checkpoint you essentially end the game but apparently that just moves you on to the next level, wherein you now encounter more and tougher bad guys, in addition to getting a color upgrade for your buggy.
All in all, as an early arcade game, I think Moon Patrol was a decent and fun game. Compared to modern games though, I think the game is simultaneously quite simple while also a little difficult regarding controls. And as a result, I think that most modern gamers may not have too much fun with this one. So if you're looking for a retro arcade experience, definitely give this one a shot, but if not, I would almost say you should definitely skip this one.
➙ Must You Play It?
An important and influential arcade game for its time, that still stands up as an old arcade game. However, I don't think the game holds up enough for modern gamers to find a lot of fun here, and so unless you're an old school arcade gamer, I'd say skip this one.