Collection > Arcade Games > Lunar Lander
Lunar Lander
Lunar Lander was Atari's first vector game. The game is fairly simple, you attempt to land on the surface of the moon on different platforms (based on the location of the platform the points are higher/lower). You can adjust the lander's rotation, and "thrust" using a very unique controller (see images below). You are limited in the amount of fuel you can use, and thrusting to make adjustments to you ship consumes it.

While the game seems to be fairly technically accurate in terms of its physics model for rotation, thrusting, etc. it isn't necessarily the most exciting. I sort of equate Lunar Lander with other games at the time that were a bit more "nerdy" in that they were accurate but didn't necessarily appeal to mainstream audiences. Other games that seem to fall into this category are "Computer Space" and "Space War". In fact it is a bit difficult to find a Lunar Lander today due to the fact that a large number of them were converted to Asteroids which was extremely popular at the time.

Growing up, I used to play Lunar Lander quite a bit at a quickie mart down the street. Being into science fiction, I found the game quite addicting. I also really liked the unique thrust controller as it made you feel like you were actually piloting a lander. One of the things that really appeals to me about those late 70s / early 80s games was their unique control schemes. I really hated the JAMMAfication of arcades when everything became a multi-button joystick game.

I really haven't done anything to restore Lunar Lander. When I acquired it the sound wasn't working, but I quickly figured out that it was missing the speaker. Once connected, everything seemed to work correctly. The only issue I am having now is that some of the text and platforms seem to be "shifted". Meaning, sometimes they will appear in the middle of the surface of the moon which makes it extremely difficult to play. I am going to send the board off for repair and hopefully I will have a fully working Lunar Lander soon.

Repair Log
To date, I have performed the following repairs on this game:
  • Added a speaker
  • Replaced lights in control panel
  • Shipped off board for repair (to fix "shifting" issue)

Game Information
Year: 1979


Arcade Games