Description official description
In this game, you must guide your spaceship around while picking up hostages located on the surface, and bring them to safety. Your task becomes difficult by lunar leepers who leap up and try to grab you or the hostages that are picked up by your ship.
If you approach a hostage while a leeper is nearby, the leeper will keep walking toward them until they are killed. If you are grabbed by a leeper, you lose a life. You can shoot at the leepers, but the catch is that you cannot shoot at them while they are on the surface, and you have limited ammo. You also have limited fuel, and if you are half-empty, you must refill at the gas depot in order to continue.
In between levels, you enter a cavern where you must find a huge floating object. You must then shoot out its core to proceed to the next difficult level.
Credits (VIC-20 version)
Average score: 100% (based on 1 ratings)
Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 11 ratings with 1 reviews)
If you are familiar with the company Sierra On-Line, you may think that their humble beginnings started with King's Quest. Actually, Sierra goes way back than that with a number of arcade games. When I was just three, I happened to own two of Sierra works. One of them was Lunar Leeper and I just never got used to it. Years later, I got to play the game again thanks to the wonders of emulation, and on that same day, I was able to get through the two levels the game has to offer.
For anyone who isn't familiar with Lunar Leeper, you pilot a little blue spaceship patrolling the moon inhabited by leepers and several prisoners. Your job is to transport the prisoners to a white platform. This may sound easy, except that the leepers will attempt to kill a prisoner within its range. While in transit, the leepers may jump toward your ship and attempt to grab the prisoner. And if that isn't enough, you are running out of fuel and need to stock up at a station, so don't expect to bring the prisoners to safety in one go.
Once you bring all the prisoners to safety, you then navigate this cavern, searching for the big eye while killing any nasties that get in your way. Once the eye is destroyed, the moon, along with any life on it, explodes and you go back to level one. This time the game gets more challenging, with new enemies being introduced.
The mountains and the cavern, as well as the eye, are drawn nicely, and the leepers are well animated. When you are skimming the surface and got a prisoner, While you're in the air, you never know which of them are going to jump up and attempt to grab your prisoner. About three leepers might do nothing, for example, and you assume that your trip to the white platform is safe. But the next one will actually jump up and grab prisoners from you. I am saying that you have to be careful, move close to one, back up a bit and see if they jump. The fuel station looks good, and the game's HUD is laid out nicely. The score looks futuristic, and the arrows are well animated. When you lose all your lives, the words that are Game Over look neat.
The animations are great. When a leeper grabs you, I enjoyed watching it stuffing the ship into its head. I also enjoyed watching them leap toward you. Your ship moves smoothly across the landscape. There is no background music, and there are some nice sound effects in the game. When the leepers jump, for instance, a series of beeps go up in pitch then come back down again. When you land at the fuel station, the sound that plays is appropriate for the occasion.
Controls are easy to learn. Moving the joystick left or right moves your ship in the appropriate direction, and the fire button fires the ship's laser. I didn't use the ship's laser because I found it too easy to miss my targets. Navigating the caverns is a bit difficult without losing a life; you have to move through it more carefully.
It's odd the way your ship is facing you the whole time, instead of facing in the direction you're going. Also, I found the controls too sensitive. When you're focused on picking up a prisoner off the surface, you go way too far and land into trouble.
The Bottom Line
As far as I know, Lunar Leeper isn't based on any arcade game, so it's good that Sierra did something creative for once. This is a fun game once you get used to it, but it could have been better with more than two levels, with difficulties ranging from easy to hard. The game's HUD looks futuristic and there are some nice animations. The graphics and sound effects are great also. If you are looking for a decent shoot-'em-up, then you should give Lunar Leeper a shot.
Commodore 64 · by Katakis | カタキス (43092) · 2012
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Game added by Katakis | カタキス.
Game added October 22, 2004. Last modified August 30, 2023.