Critic Reviews add missing review
Average score: 66% (based on 18 ratings)
Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 6 ratings with 2 reviews)
I was made aware of the existence of this game by a computer magazine back then in 1999 when it came out and I could say that wasn't it for the magazine, I would likely not get to know this game at all. The reviewer described how Lander made him angry and how he struggled with the controls the few first days, but when he learned to control it he was delighted in everything Lander has to offer past the controls. After all, it's like controlling a helicopter and personally for me it was a couple of hours until I became one with the controls. The controls will seem like simulator at first, but in time you will realize it's an arcade game requiring a little more (well, more than little, in fact :)) care in handling. For anyone that puts a little effort into learning it first, Lander will reward you with very nice 3D accelerated graphics, which were really state-of-the-art in 1999, good sound, superb soundtrack and most of all great gameplay while navigating the diverse and original levels with one of the number of landing machines to choose from. I liked the physics, which were far and between to find in games at the time and they made the pillar of gameplay and the game never got repetitive, which is for me personally very important in computer games.
Lander also has a few drawbacks, such as your lander having tendency to stick to obstacles when you hit them, sometimes resulting in "hanging" or in any way staying "connected" to the object, being unable to separate or damaging the lander in the process of "tearing apart". One must be very careful not to hit anything around him close to corners or other sharp objects and sometimes one struggles with the camera controls to find such an angle to view exactly where you need to fly.
The Bottom Line
Difficult to master but greatly enjoyable when mastered, Lander offers a visually impressive experience, with good sound and superb soundtrack, but most of all great gameplay while controlling a fragile landing craft in interesting and challenging 3D environment on the series of missions on the planets in our solar system. One of the greatest underdogs out there and one of my most favorite games of all times.
Windows · by CyberAngel (2) · 2008
Ah, yes, I remember this. For a short while it was going to be the first ever DVD-only title, because it had a very long intro movie, or something along those lines. In the end I think it was included as a pack-in game with some DVD drives, but was otherwise released on CD. I mention this because the game is otherwise fairly dull. It's an update of the old 'Lunar Lander' concept, with attractive 3D graphics in the modern way, coming a year or so after an earlier update of 'Battlezone'.
But unlike 'Battlezone' it didn't really advance the concept; instead, it was 'Lunar Lander' (or, for people my age, 'Thrust' or 'Virus') in a more attractive set of environments. As before, your ship flew like a helicopter, with a main thruster pushing upwards and little thrusters directing your bearing; to move forwards, you had to tilt forwards and thrust with the main thrusters, that kind of thing.
And to be honest it wasn't greatly entertaining when it was 'Thrust' or 'Virus'. Those games are fondly remembered nowadays for being very hard and frustrating, and Lander is very hard and frustrating. Lord knows what the last three-quarters of the game was like, I gave up early on. Like 'V2000' it was simply frustratingly hard in an unfair way, as if the designers were banking on a wave of nostalgia to sell the game rather than gameplay.
The Bottom Line
It's an attractive update of 'Virus', 'Thrust' and 'Lunar Lander', in backwards chronological order. Just as frustratingly awful to play as those games, but in 2000! The dearth of reviews on MobyGames suggests that it was never released outside Britain, and it wasn't a huge hit.
Windows · by Ashley Pomeroy (225) · 2005