Once again we find ourselves involved in the Retro Games Forever ZX Spectrum High Score Challenge. The game for this week is Moon Alert, a colourful game with an immediate pick up and play mechanic but also a nicely weighted challenge as you progress along the Lunar Surface.
On my first attempt at playing Moon Alert I was dying. A lot. Then I discovered that you could jump, as well as shoot. Using a joystick the jump was achieved by pushing “up” (as any Amiga fan will attest this isn’t that uncommon when only one fire button is available and shooting is an option) and the fire button shot a laser forwards and upwards. Finding this out made it a lot easier to play, as strangely you need to jump some obstacles, but can shoot others, and even more odd is that you have to jump if the terrain drops down. So now we are in control, the game is superb fun.
Moon Alert starts fairly easily with a jump here and there, and a pile of what looks like Space pooh done by Mr. Whippy which can be jumped over, or shot which gives a nice little explosion animation. As you progress across more craters, jumping up (or up to go down) to continue along the lunar surface the difficulty increases, as the ground is always moving from right to left and the jumps have to be carefully timed to avoid the obstacles. Then the aliens turn up to make things more difficult. Now you discover that left and right slows the rate of the Right to Left scrolling, or speeds it up to help avoid things, or aim.
So now you are avoiding or shooting obstacles, shooting aliens who shoot back and enjoying the whole experience. Personally I just keep going back for “one more go” of this great little game, such is the challenge and fun factor. The fact that the sounds and graphics are also pretty good for a Spectrum game only adds icing to the cake. If you haven’t played Moon Alert then you really should. And check out our video below, comment here or on the video if you have any thoughts on the game or the ZX Spectrum.