Games Review: Moon

Nintendo DS, £29.99

It's hard to escape reading about the Moon just lately; our only satellite, contributor to the Earth's tidal systems which helped shape our civilisation and object of human fascination from time immemorial. Of course the latest stories regarding the Moon have been written to celebrate the 40th anniversary of NASA's first 'giant leap' on to the lunar surface; it is here where similarities with 'Moon' for Nintendo DS can be drawn. You see, in the non-too-distant future humanity has set foot on the Moon once more, but unlike the last time, we are not alone.

The year is 2058 and aboard Lunar Outpost Alpha; a military outpost built on the Moon's surface, all is far from tranquil. The discovery of a metallic hatch of unknown origins has thrown everything we thought we knew about our satellite into a state of disarray. 'Who built it?' 'What's inside?' and 'Is it still occupied?' Are the questions on everybody's lips and as Major Edward Kane, Chief of Military Operations for the Extra-Terrestrial Encounter Organisation (ETEO), it's up to you to find out. Unfortunately for the Major and his associates, discovering the answers proves more difficult than they planned and the astronauts of ETEO are soon fighting for their lives as they begin to unravel the secrets of the hatch.

Expect plenty of twists from the well driven plot told via a combination of well rendered movies and one-on-one dialogues with scientists based both on the Moon and back on Earth. Of course, without sufficient gameplay, action and well implemented controls, even the best storyline in the world wouldn't be enough to entice DS owners to part with their hard-earned cash. Luckily, developers Renegade Kid, have managed to address those necessities successfully too, with their most impressive feat being the creation of a successful control mechanism that makes playing a first-person shooter (FPS) on the DS feel like second nature. Controls make use of just three inputs: the control pad moves your character back, forth and side-to-side; moving the stylus on the touch screen allows you to look around and the left should button fires whichever weapon you happen to have equipped. I found myself always in control and - other than the occasional twinge of cramp from clutching the DS too hard - enjoyed guiding Major Kane around the Moon's interior immensely. The clarity of the graphics also helps proceedings enormously, with wall textures and objects well defined and easy on the eye. Enemies too are distinct from background scenery, so you never feel that an enemy has simply appeared from nowhere due to the muddying of polygons.

Action comes in the guise of gun battles with a variety of hovering sentry bots, walking sentry bots and wall mounted sentry bots. While that's a lot of sentry bots, to be fair to the developers, there is a decent amount of variation in the design of enemies who also get tougher to despatch as the game progresses. To counter the ever increasing strength of the sentry bots are a selection of guns, some man-made, but most alien in origin. While not the most lethal sounding guns in the history of FPS games, they largely look the part and deal out sufficient damage to get the job done. Once the shooting is over most rooms will present you with some puzzles to solve in order to progress. Often this consists or guiding a remote control buggy through small nooks and crannies that the Major (decked out as he is in a rather fetching red spacesuit) is too cumbersome to fit through. By using the buggy's onboard pulse cannon, electronic devices can be disabled and force-fields downed to allow the Major to proceed deeper into the alien installation. While this formula is repeated often, I found that the need to complete my current objectives and get to that next boss-enemy (yep you guessed it: giant sentry bots) was enough to keep me plodding onwards; the game also rewards exploration by unlocking additional levels upon discovery of alien artefacts scattered throughout the levels. To break up the 'walk, shoot, remove force-field, progress' formula even more, the developers also included vehicles within the game. Major Kane has access to a lunar buggy, which again is well implemented and very responsive within the control system; if you have even handled a vehicle in Halo you will be right at home here.

'Moon' then is a well crafted, good looking game and an excellent addition to anyone's DS game library. Perhaps the largest praise I could heap on it would be to say I personally prefer the title over 'Metroid Prime: Hunters'. Also for the DS, Hunters is one of the consoles more hyped and well received forays into FPS territory. For me, the simplified controls and engaging storyline of Renegade Kid's title trump Hunters and surely that is recommendation enough. Just remember, when walking on the moon, 'giant steps are what you'll take'.

Suggested Topics
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
News
Dominique Alderweireld, also known as Dodo de Saumure, is the owner of a string of brothels in Belgium
newsPhilip Sweeney gets the inside track on France's trial of the year
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 pictured in 2011.
musicBassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker say Tom Delonge is 'disrespectful and ungrateful'
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'
tvBroadchurch series 2, episode 4, review - contains spoilers
Sport
cyclingDisgraced cycling star says people will soon forgive his actions
News
Britain's Prince Philip attends a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran will play three sell-out gigs at Wembley Stadium in July
music
News
i100
News
Lena Dunham posing for an official portrait at Sundance 2015
people
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Investigo: Finance Business Partner

    £45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Engineer with SQL skills

    £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

    £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm - London

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    Day In a Page

    Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

    Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

    Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea