Moon Patrol

Platforms: Apple II, Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Commodore VIC-20, IBM PC/Compatibles, MSX, Sord M5, TI-99/4A


Main Genre:
Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Visual Presentation:
Scrolling (Horizontal or Vertical)


Arcade version of Moon Patrol
Arcade version of Moon Patrol
Moon Patrol is a side scrolling action game where the player controls a moon buggy and needs to avoid obstacles and attacking UFO's. The game was originally developed by Irem and licensed by Williams Electronics in North America. The game is one of the earliest side scrolling shooters and is also one of the earliest games to feature parallax scrolling.


During the game the screen scrolling continuously with the player controller the moon buggy on the moon surface. The goal is to complete all 26 sections of the course (marked with letters A through Z) without the moon buggy being destroyed. The game ends when all of the players moon buggies are destroyed; if all 26 sections of the course are completed, the game continues to the advanced course.

The moon buggy is capable of jumping, speeding up or slowing down (but not stopping), and firing both forward and upwards. The course features a variety of obstacles that need to be destroyed or dodged. At various times the player will encounter the following dangers:
  • Craters: craters must be jumped over or the moon buggy is destroyed.
  • Rocks: Rocks can be shot or jumped over. They come in several sizes and in some areas roll down hill towards the moon buggy.
  • Land mines: in later levels numerous land mines are on the ground that must be jumped over.
  • Tanks: tanks don't appear until the advanced course - they can be shot or jumped over. They also fire back at the player.
  • Rocket cars: Also don't appear until the advanced course - they appear behind the player and must be jumped over when they charge forward.
  • Plants: the space plants live in craters. Even after the plant is shot, the player still must jump over the crater to avoid the moon buggy being destroyed.
  • Flying saucers: Three different types of flying saucers attack from above. The first two types will attempt to drop bombs on the moon buggy, and may even fly down attempting to crash into it. The third type drops bombs that also form craters.
Although the game doesn't have a time limit, bonus points are earned if sections of the course are completed more quickly.
Moon Patrol moon buggy


Platform: Arcade
Lead Designer: Takashi Nishiyama
Music and Sound Effects: Ichiro Takagi
Platform: Atari 2600
Programmed by: Mark Ackerman, Noellie Alito
Cover artwork by: Warren Chang
Platform: Atari 5200
Programmed by: Scott Smith
Graphics by: Courtney Granner
Sound by: Robert Vieira
Cover artwork by: Warren Chang
Platform: TI-99/4A
Programmed by: Douglas Brian Craig


Click on a picture below to view a larger version.
Moon Patrol
Arcade Version


Instruction Manual
Atari 2600
1983 release
Instruction Manual
Atari 2600
1987 release
Instruction Manual
Atari 2600
1988 European release
Instruction Manual
Atari 5200
Instruction Manual
Commodore VIC-20
Instruction Manual
IBM PC/Compatibles
Instruction Manual


Product catalogs, magazines, flyers, or other documentation Moon Patrol has appeared in.
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Packaging/Label Styles

This game has releases with the following standardized packaging styles:

Game Features

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