Friends, on Earl Green’s latest Phosphor Dot Fossils video – he has something of an intriguing video game mystery for us. The game he has chosen to share for this go around is 1985’s Horizon by Irem – although I’m not sure if it had a wide release back in the day or not. As Earl points out in the video itself – besides being a neat game on it’s own – it would appear that Horizon was intended to be a sequel to Moon Patrol, their hit 1982 arcade classic. However as for the reasoning behind not marketing Horizon as a sequel is beyond me – the only thing I can think of is somehow a rights issue came about preventing Irem from doing the obvious. While Horizon might not be that well known it certainly looks to be a solid game that stands on it’s own merits – keeping a few of the aspects of the 1982 title and providing a fresh take on the gameplay itself.
If you are familiar with Moon Patrol you will remember the goal is to race across the surface of the moon, avoiding craters and obstacles strewn about your path by blasting or leaping over the dangers. In addition you had to deal with airborne enemies – out of control lunar plant life and even explosive land mines as well as deadly tanks in some stages.
With 1985’s Horizon though, Irem has stripped you of the ability to jump over obstacles and threats – although you can at least switch ‘lanes’ as you are racing across the alien surface. You will need to take advantage of this ability as some of the enemies can only be destroyed from a well placed shot behind them – although like in the 1982 game there are flying enemies you have to be concerned with too. As Earl points out himself, at the very least you will not have to worry about any of those craters suddenly popping up in your path!
For even more pop culture related goodness by Earl – make sure to check out his own website, the Logbook.Com – absolutely one of the best and longest running sites for all your retro needs.