We are under attack, and our defence systems are in your hands, or rather at the touch of your fingers. Earth vs. Moon is basically the classic Missile Command gameplay taken kicking and screaming into 2009. What developer Low Five Games has injected the game with is a big dose of humour, and some cross breeding of the Missile Command formula. For example you get to face one boss using some pong gameplay, and another using breakout as a inspiration. I can really feel that the developer has had a fun time designing Earth vs. Moon.
You have three satellite stations equipped with a limited number of missiles to defend Earth against the horrible Moon Army. Before each level you get to know your number of missiles and the number of missiles the enemy will bombard you with. Soon you will have to learn how to chain explosions to really conserve your ammunition.
Enemies come in different flavours, but your main opposition is enemy missiles. There are UFOs, asteroids and a whole cast of evil minions, no less than ten different enemies attack you. Five gigantic bosses with their own unique way of attacking you, and make you giggle if you are like me.
There are also the odd spacecraft to shoot down that actually replenishes some of life on Earth. You have a meter at the top of the screen showing the status of Earth, but you can just look at the Earth beneath your satellite stations to see when you have messed up. Still it only takes a fraction of Earth surviving to complete a level, apparently us humans hump like crazy under pressure and lights out.
I love this game, and as it just went on a 50% sale as I started writing my review I really feel I have no trouble at all recommending it. Sure it isn’t the best looker, and sure it is just Missile Command all over again. But people, dear people, Earth vs. Moon has a story, cool boss battles, crossover mechanics from other great games and most importantly it has humour.
Earth vs. Moon has clear graphics with some really nice explosions covering the atmosphere above our beloved homeworld. The small humorous details are what really make this game such as the hula girl in the cockpit of your commander cockpit, and the green Wunderbaum hanging from the rear view mirror.
When you complete a level you get a newspaper front page showing your progress against the intergalactic treat. This is really neat, and is a good way to present the story in a pick up and play kind of a game.
No music but really good sound effects, especially the boss battles are memorable. For example one boss accused me of cheating in a metallic voice when I managed to score. Unexpected, and made me laugh out loud. You can play your own music, and keep the sound effects.
Just touch to fire a missile, and drag across the screen to fire a swarm. Conserving ammunition is important though, and most often a lack of missiles at the end is what kills the Earth.
By including elements from other arcade games gives the game some variation even though you still only fire missiles.
The campaign features 20 levels including the boss stages that takes quite a while to finish. You can replay levels to increase your scores or just for the fun of it. Other modes such as Survival and Boss Attack are unlocked playing the campaign. I miss achievements and online scores to get the rating higher than 3.5.
Earth vs. Moon is fun to play, and injects something a lot of games lack: humour. It gets an Editor’s Choice for taking a proven formula and turning it into something truly fresh and fun.