Moon Patrol is a 1982 arcade video game developed and released by Irem.
Moon Patrol gameplay
The player takes the role of a Luna City police officer assigned to Sector Nine, the home of the “toughest thugs in the galaxy”. The player controls a Moon buggy that travels over the Moon’s surface, viewed from the side as it moves toward the right. Craters, mines, and other obstacles on the ground must be shot or jumped over. Two types of flying UFOs attack from above and must be shot down. One of the flying enemies has a weapon which creates a crater when it hits the ground.
Gameplay is within a number of courses, and each is divided into 26 checkpoints, named after the letters of the English alphabet. Of these, the five major checkpoints—E, J, O, T and, Z—denote a new “stage” with a new background and theme; for example, the third stage starting at J introduces mines. The top portion of the screen shows a timeline-style map of the course, with the five major checkpoints clearly marked. Above the map is an indicator of the current checkpoint, the time spent in the stage, 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.
At the end of a stage, that time spent is compared to the average, and bonus points are awarded accordingly, at 1,000 plus 100 per second bettered; completing an entire course gives an additional 5,000 points plus 100 per second bettered. There are two unique courses: the “Beginner Course” and the “Champion Course”. The Champion Course “loops” forever, and each loop is numbered for convenience, up to three.
Extra lives are given at 10,000, 30,000, and 50,000 points; thereafter, no more lives are given. The game ends upon the last patrol car destroyed. The game can be continued, but points scored from one game do not carry over. 999,990 points is the maximum high score that can be achieved; players can exceed this score, but it “turns over” if they do.