Personal Computer News20th October 1983
Published in Personal Computer News #033
Should we sympathise with our enemies on the moon in a fight to the death? Is there a tinge of remorse as we wipe them out? Thanks to convincing 3D graphics the luna crabs have acquired an attractively crafty personality. It is this which distinguishes the game from a typical space invaders battle.
Playing the game is simple. You score points if you manage to shoot the furtive luna crabs while attempting to avoid their return fire. They dart forward, open their mouths and spit green acid balls. Your weapon is a cannon which is restricted in action to rotating to the left or right when firing its photon bolts. The cannon may be controlled only by keyboard as there is no joystick version. It is fairly easy to score, particularly if you pick off the little creatures one by one. When they make a concerted attack you are advised to cut and run.
The cassette comes sealed in cellophane and has an accurate if rather fuzzy colour picture of the graphics on the cover. It is always good to see an honest representation of the game instead of an artist's wildly idealised impression. The simple operating instructions are couched in florid science fiction twaddle but are easy to follow.
A clicking sound heralds the appearance of cute red crabs which scuttle from behind purple lunar rocks, over a lemon terrain, against a black sky. Their random approach and withdrawal is displayed in good 3D which creates the clever illusion of skulking, canny opponents trying to avoid your fire. As you move to the left or the right, the horizon rotates around your gunsight. Your landing craft sits invitingly in the middle distance. It is a disappointment in the game to discover that however many crabs you destroy it seems you are never allowed to reach its safety.
The controls are simple and easy to master. The graphics are clear and colourful and the 3D effect is pleasing. An obvious weakness is that the skill level cannot be altered and the only objective is to obtain a high score by hitting as many crabs as possible. Nevertheless these nervous and unpredictable creatures are a more likeable, amusing and challenging opponent than the stereotyped, geometric, alien with all the character of a match-box.