This isn’t a boot-leg of the Lunar Lander arcade game, but rather a game inspired by it that includes its own new gameplay mechanics, these include floating obstacles, wind direction (These are planets that you’re landing, not moons, so they have air moving of some-kind) just like Worms, happy/frowning panda to tell you what speed and angle is safe to land with, and lots of bad animal based puns!
Even though it’s a mobile game, the controls are simple and very responsive. Tapping on the left half of the screen turns your intergalactic panda to the left, whilst the right half turns the panda to the right. Whilst tapping both sides of the screen at the same time uses the thrusters to propel the panda upwards, or in whatever angle he’s heading. Simply put, if you want to move to the left, turn the panda 90 degrees anti clockwise, and then use the thrusters. However, you do not have unlimited fuel, and you’ll need to be efficient with them, especially if you want to earn a high score; but if you don’t pay attention to to your fuel gauge, you’ll run out and crash onto the surface of the planet. Some levels have special fuel pick ups that you can exploit if you find yourself running out of fuel quickly.
For mobile game controls, they’re really good. by reducing the controls to just 3 commands, you don’t need overly complex on-screen controls or any need of finicky motion controls. The only other control there is in the game is a pause button located on the top right hand corner of the screen that’s small and out of the way to prevent accidental tapping, but is clearly seen on the screen for when you need to take a break from the game.
Lunar Panda is heavily inspired by the classic arcade and home computer game, where you land a lander safely onto a safe, even surface, that are landing pads. Similar to the original game, these are numbered depending on how easy, or hard they are to land on, and that number determines the point multiplier used when you beat a level. Lunar Panda doesn’t use the 2x, 3x, 4x multipliers, but rather a simpler 5x and 10x multiplier; where the 10x multiplier landing pad is about half the width of the 5x landing pad. These pads are just labelled as 5 & 10, and have a cool looking hologram-like glowing effect from the landing pad.
As mentioned above, one of this game’s unique features over the original game is wind speed and direction. This give the game a bit of a Worms feel as not only do you need to stabilise the Panda before landing, but there are levels where wind can cause the Panda to drift to the left or right at different speeds, meaning you’ll have to work with the wind, thrust at the right angle, and prepare landing in a slightly different way than you’re used to.
You can get this great game today from both the Apple App Store, and the Google Play store through the following links for the low price of 99p!