Moon Patrol
is a classic arcade game
Arcade game
An arcade game is a coin-operated entertainment machine, usually installed in public businesses such as restaurants, bars, and amusement arcades. Most arcade games are video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games, and merchandisers...

 by Irem that was first released in 1982. It was licensed to Williams for distribution in North America.

The player controls a moon buggy, viewing it from the side, that travels over the moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

's surface. While driving it, obstacles such as craters and mines must be avoided. The buggy is also attacked by UFO
Unidentified flying object
A term originally coined by the military, an unidentified flying object is an unusual apparent anomaly in the sky that is not readily identifiable to the observer as any known object...

s from above and tanks on the ground. Moon Patrol was one of the earliest linear side-scrolling shoot'em ups and one of the earliest arcade games to feature parallax scrolling
Parallax scrolling
Parallax scrolling is a special scrolling technique in computer graphics, popularized in the 1982 arcade game Moon Patrol. In this pseudo-3D technique, background images move by the camera slower than foreground images, creating an illusion of depth in a 2D video game and adding to the immersion...



The player takes the role of a Luna City police officer
Police officer
A police officer is a warranted employee of a police force...

 assigned to Sector Nine, the home of the "toughest thugs in the galaxy."

The top portion of the screen shows a timeline-style map of the current course, and three indicator lights. The top light indicates upcoming enemy aerial attacks, the middle one indicates an upcoming minefield, and the bottom one indicates enemies approaching from behind.

The map shows five different checkpoints labeled E, J, O, T and Z. Similar to racing games, the time spent during between each checkpoint is compared to the average which determines the amount of bonus points allocated to the player. The game contains two courses, the regular and champion course; after completing the first course your buggy's color changes from pink to red and the game continues on.


There have been many ports of Moon Patrol to home computers and console game systems, including:
  • Apple II
    Apple II
    The Apple II is an 8-bit home computer, one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputer products, designed primarily by Steve Wozniak, manufactured by Apple Computer and introduced in 1977...

  • Atari 800
  • Atari 2600
    Atari 2600
    The Atari 2600 is a video game console released in October 1977 by Atari, Inc. It is credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor-based hardware and cartridges containing game code, instead of having non-microprocessor dedicated hardware with all games built in...

  • Atari 5200
    Atari 5200
    The Atari 5200 SuperSystem, commonly known as the Atari 5200, is a video game console that was introduced in 1982 by Atari Inc. as a higher end complementary console for the popular Atari 2600...

  • Atari ST
    Atari ST
    The Atari ST is a home/personal computer that was released by Atari Corporation in 1985 and commercially available from that summer into the early 1990s. The "ST" officially stands for "Sixteen/Thirty-two", which referred to the Motorola 68000's 16-bit external bus and 32-bit internals...

  • ColecoVision
    The ColecoVision is Coleco Industries' second generation home video game console which was released in August 1982. The ColecoVision offered arcade-quality graphics and gaming style, and the means to expand the system's basic hardware...

     (in prototype form; never released to the public)
  • Commodore 64
    Commodore 64
    The Commodore 64 is an 8-bit home computer introduced by Commodore International in January 1982.Volume production started in the spring of 1982, with machines being released on to the market in August at a price of US$595...

  • Commodore VIC-20
    Commodore VIC-20
    The VIC-20 is an 8-bit home computer which was sold by Commodore Business Machines. The VIC-20 was announced in 1980, roughly three years after Commodore's first personal computer, the PET...

  • Mobile
    Mobile phone
    A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

     (Moon Patrol EX)
  • MSX
    MSX was the name of a standardized home computer architecture in the 1980s conceived by Kazuhiko Nishi, then Vice-president at Microsoft Japan and Director at ASCII Corporation...

  • Game Boy Color
    Game Boy Color
    The is Nintendo's successor to the 8-bit Game Boy handheld game console, and was released on October 21, 1998 in Japan, November 19, 1998 in North America, November 23, 1998 in Europe and November 27, 1998 in the United Kingdom. It features a color screen and is slightly thicker and taller than...

     (Arcade Hits: Moon Patrol & Spy Hunter)
  • PC booter
    PC booter
    A PC booter, or booter, is a type of software for home computer era personal computers that was loaded and executed in the bootup of the computer, from a bootable floppy disk, rather than as a regular program; a booter thus bypassed any operating system that might be installed on the hard disk of...

  • Dreamcast (included in Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Volume 2)
  • PlayStation
    The is a 32-bit fifth-generation video game console first released by Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan on December 3, .The PlayStation was the first of the PlayStation series of consoles and handheld game devices. The PlayStation 2 was the console's successor in 2000...

     (included in Midway Presents Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Midway Collection 2)
  • Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
    Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
    The Texas Instruments TI-99/4A was an early home computer, released in June 1981, originally at a price of USD $525. It was an enhanced version of the less-successful—and quite rare—TI-99/4 model, which was released in late 1979 at a price of $1,150...

  • TRS-80 Color Computer
    TRS-80 Color Computer
    The Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer was a home computer launched in 1980. It was one of the earliest of the first generation of computers marketed for home use in English-speaking markets...

  • ZX Spectrum
    ZX Spectrum
    The ZX Spectrum is an 8-bit personal home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research Ltd...

    (completed but never released)


  • A bootleg version called Moon Ranger was released in the arcades the same year.
  • An open-source clone named moon-buggy for Unix-like terminals is included in most modern linux distributions.

External links

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