Our current Retro Spotlight forum topic focuses on Lunar Lander, Atari’s devilishly difficult arcade game from the Seventies. Inspired by the space race that saw the USA put a man on the moon in 1969, the game tasked players with balancing thrust, gravity and momentum to safely land a spaceship on the hazardous lunar surface. Failure to come in at the correct speed or angle would result in the destruction of the craft.
While Lunar Lander wasn’t a failure by any stretch of the imagination, and was noteworthy as the first Atari arcade game to use vector graphics, its popularity was eclipsed by that of Atari’s other vector space-based game, Asteroids. Despite that, it went on to inspire a whole range of similar games and named its own subgenre.