Lunar Lander

Mobile Games Roundup

Mobile Games Roundup

Agent! Tower! Continuity! Angry! Zombies! Sonic! geoDefense!

It would probably get boring for you lot if every week was filled with top-rated games. In fact, I know that a lot of you kind of glaze over at some of the scores, and some outright moan that mobile games get routinely over-rated ("9/10? Better than Halo? ROFL")

Like any platform, it's important to judge mobile games in context. An inventive 9/10 puzzle game costing 59p can never be the same as a 9/10 epic action game on a home console. But nor would you necessarily want it to be.

Trying to somehow read something definitive into what a score 'means' is, a slippery subject, and yet we all debate them endlessly. But at the same time, as long as you're always dealing with like-for-like comparisons, you're on safer ground.

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Lunar Lander

Lunar Lander

One small game for a man.

The first matter of importance when it comes to discussing Lunar Lander is that it's really not such a great game. It comes from a time when technology was still ahead of design - we had the ability to create games, but no real concept of what games to create. Lunar Lander is the product of that wonderful era of exploration, though not a particularly successful one.

That said, the development of this title is incredibly significant when looking at the history of arcade games. The concept had been around for quite some time, though mostly in the form of a turn-based text adventure/mathematical equation routine used by bored engineering students who had access to thousands of pounds worth of misused computer equipment.

This maths answer without a question evolved into Atari's first foray into vector graphics and involved players using the custom control system (a couple of paddles and a strange analogue thrust control mechanism) to land a lunar module on our desolate satellite in a rough approximation of the moon landings faked by the USA 10 years earlier. Unfortunately, the latter end of the Lunar Lander coin-op production schedule clashed with the massive success of Atari's second vector based game, Asteroids.

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