Designed by Bob Smith, Moonsweeper is another Imagic title for the Atari 2600. Released in 1983, Moonsweeper continues Imagic’s trend of technologically proficient titles on a then aging platform. It’s clichéd to say, but screenshots do not do this game justice! It’s a marvel to see in motion and the gameplay isn’t too bad either!
Tasked not simply with destroying enemy forces, players are primarily on a rescue mission. Piloting the USS Moonsweeper around the sun of Star Quadrant Jupiter, there are two arenas in which the game is played. The first, outer space, features limited options. Here the main goal is to avoid flares and other deadly objects while trying to land on the orbiting planets. Once on a planet, players glide about searching for miners to rescue. With six in tow, it’s back to space to do it over again.
Moonsweeper is a score attack game through and through and I wasn’t very good! This is a game that I foresee taking some devotion to get a respectable score. The controls bothered me slightly; I’d seem to oversteer or understeer all the time, running into dangerous objects in space or enemy fire on the planets. Nonetheless I enjoyed seeing the game in motion.
After scoring 1,000 points in Activision Anthology, players unlock the hyperspace gameplay mode. Resembling the popular sequences from the Star Wars films, this mode works very well with Moonsweeper.