In essence, a mish-mash of Defender and Space Invaders, “Moon Bandits” plays well.
Usually a Space Invaders remake will be a sad and sorry affair. Too slow, too dull in appearance or in an attempt to spice-up the old game, the new version will just be too different and fail in wackiness. However, as with all variations, soon enough one has to come around which is cool. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Moon Bandits.
Essentially the story goes like this: Aliens are attacking. Oh, no. Then you are enlisted somehow and stuck in a big fat tank which can only move left, right and shoot directly above itself. However, in this variation of the old story there are four other humans who’ve survived the alien armada and you can pick them up… and put them on top of your tank. Not inside, but on top of. You have to protect these hapless souls by moving them around outside of enemy fire. If they all die, the battle moves to space. If you survive the space battle, you and the aliens return to Earth where four new people are put under your leadership and your barriers have been safely returned.
There are pickups and bonuses scattered throughout the game. Such of these include the ability for your men to shoot; to change your gun into firing like a scattering Tommy-Gun; or into giant, fat, thick red bullets. Every five levels you are rewarded with a bomb, which are incredibly destructive and can harm you and the people as well, so be careful. The enemies are varied, with some of them firing slowly; some fire intensely; and some drop huge but deadly bullets at intervals. Occasionally an enemy will drop from the sky in an attempt to capture the humans.
Very rich, complex and never overwhelming, the game delivers a stunning array of game play in a very simple package. Needless to say, I enjoyed this game a lot. It’s a fresh look at the tired and often uninspired re-treads of Space Invaders that we usually see and it should be enjoyed by a great deal of gamers out there. Including you.