Moon Patrol

aka: Arcade Archives: Moon Patrol, Patrulha Lunar
Moby ID: 575
Buy on Atari 5200
$18.00 used on eBay
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Description official descriptions

Moon Patrol is a side-scrolling game where the player must drive a moon buggy from one station on the Moon to another, all while avoiding crashing or getting destroyed by alien ships. The vehicle is constantly moving right and the player can speed up or slow down, jump, and shoot (simultaneously firing upwards and forwards.) There are 25 checkpoints along the way, each symbolized with a letter from A to Z and serving as a respawn point. Every five checkpoints mark a separate "stage" within the entire course; reaching the end of a stage under the par time grants a large score bonus.

Dangers on the Moon include rocks (small and big ones) which can be shot to pieces or jumped over, pits which must be jumped, and UFOs which fire at the player or bombard the ground (creating pits). Later the player also comes upon stationary tanks which fire missiles (which can be destroyed with the player's own shots), landmines, carnivorous plants that pop up out of pits, and rocket cars which stalk the buggy from behind before rushing forward in an attempt to ram it down.

After completing the first course (the "Beginner Course") the player can try his skill on the harder Champion Course.


  • アーケードアーカイブス ムーンパトロール - Japanese PS4 / Switch spelling
  • ムーンパトロール - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Arcade version)

Lead Designer (uncredited)
Music and Sound Effects (uncredited)



Average score: 76% (based on 20 ratings)


Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 88 ratings with 5 reviews)

A great classic I play to this day.

The Good
Damn, I was about to add this one :-)

Well, Moon Patrol is an arcade classic I know well and love equally well. I used to play this thing on XTs when I was 6 or so, and play it to this very day on XTs. It's got good controls, good graphics, a catchy tune and an excellent theme. It's quite challenging, and mostly fun!

The Bad
It's kind of repetitive, but what'd you expect from an early game?

The Bottom Line
A real classic you have to play to fully appreciate.

PC Booter · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 1999

Arcade Perfection!

The Good
How old was I when I played this game...just a kid and totally trigger happy. Played this ol'game on my 1.7 Mhz PC XT.

Moon Patrol was "The Action" game. You had a lot of shooters back then, but this particular one was a whole lot better from a "boyish" point of view. Your in space, you got yourself some totally neat wheels, and your blasting everything that comes in your way. Did I mention neat wheels?

Another thing that was kind of surprising is that you can shoot forward as well as up. In addition to dodging holes and rocks, of which you have to jump your moon buggy...things can get pretty messy out there when its crowded.

The Bad
Somethings things can get a little TOO messy. The fact that when your jumping around, you can't dodge bullets means restart game. And sometimes there is a minimal margin of error when your jumping those holes and rocks (of which your doing while also dodging bullets from front and above). Sometimes it can be frustrating when your a kid...then again I'm surprised that I had a lot of patience back then.

Other minor power ups (did they have power ups back then?) so the game is practically the same from the beginning to the end (if there is an end), just more shooting and jumping. No bosses, no unique enemies, no much else come to think of it. Oh well, it was good enough for me back then.

Oh, what was the plot about again?

The Bottom Line
I gotta get me one of these!

PC Booter · by Indra was here (20770) · 2004

Moon Patrolling Fracas!

The Good
I never actually owned an apple computer, but a girl who lived down the street from me fortunately did. The only other game she owned was strip poker, (a beguiling thought) and my poker skills as an 8 y.o. old were rather poor (Getting the woman to remove their winter coats was the height of excitement! ) - so it was moon patrol by default.

Well, what better game to have than moon patrol. We must have played this for an entire summer. The game play is quite wonderful, very simple: Go right shoot and jump things...Keep moving and try not to die. In end you're going right just for the sheer pleasure of driving that buggy across the screen and trying to beat your last score.
Now tell me: Isn't that what gaming is all about? Who isn't captivated by the notion of driving a car around on the moon?

The Bad
Sure, the aesthetics, are well, simple. And the game is built around repetition. But what game wasn't back then? The fact you can play this game for extended periods of time before finding it monotonous is testament to it's addictiveness and fun.

The Bottom Line
An arcade-style humdinger of moon patrolling.

Apple II · by steve Lit (3) · 2004

[ View all 5 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Moon Patrol appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cancelled Spectrum version

In one of the stranger moments in Sinclair Spectrum history, a version of this game was completed but never released, despite a great review from Crash! magazine. A handful of copies exist, but never reached a shop floor.


According to the 2007 documentary Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade, Irem's 1982 arcade version of Moon Patrol (distributed in North America by Williams) was the first arcade game to allow gameplay continuation with score retention by inserting another coin. Thus, for the first time, one's high score wasn't solely a matter of how far a player could get on a single coin, but rather a function of how many quarters they wanted to sink into the machine.Furthermore, the game is credited with introducing parallax background scrolling to video games to imply depth.


  • TeleMatch
    • Issue 04/1984 – #3 Arcade Game of the Year 1983 (Readers' Vote)


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  • MobyGames ID: 575
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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

TI-99/4A added by Corn Popper. Commodore 64, Atari 2600 added by PCGamer77. Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 added by Rik Hideto. BREW added by Kabushi. Atari 8-bit added by Martin Smith. Apple II, VIC-20, Atari 5200 added by Servo. Sord M5 added by Игги Друге. MSX added by koffiepad. Atari ST added by Belboz. Arcade added by rcoltrane.

Additional contributors: Martin Smith, Pseudo_Intellectual, Игги Друге, Patrick Bregger, Rik Hideto, FatherJack, ZeTomes.

Game added December 15, 1999. Last modified January 20, 2024.