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BMX On The Moon

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Released: 1984

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: BBC Micro

Publisher: Superior Software

Submitted by: Craig Hawkins

The recent celebrations over the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin moonwalking for real have, for the first time in my life, left me with an aching desire to become an astronaut and set foot on the surface of that very moon.

Games are and always will be our only gateway to the moon, of which there are many classic examples, but what would any self-respecting child of the 80s want to do once there? Hello! This game is called BMX On The Moon!

But unlike Ronseal, it doesn't do exactly what it says on the tin. The 'moon cycle' you straddle is like no BMX I've ever pulled a wheelie on. And then you're asked which of the three moons you wish to patrol (so it's not the moon?). Immediately the words 'moon' and 'patrol' stick out like a thumb that's sore from playing too much Moon Patrol. Whitney, we have a problem.

So you're peddling along on your BMX, except you're not because it's a motorised moon cycle with no peddles. And you're taking in the atmosphere – even though there's no atmosphere on the moon – clearing a path for yourself, when all of a sudden spaceships appear above you and aliens jump out of craters begging to be blasted by your 'moon-gun'. And in spite of any misgivings over originality and wasted potential, it's a guilty pleasure.

You admire it for the number of times it makes you swear at it for sticking another crater in your path while you're in midair from avoiding another. You engage the spaceships in a little dance as they try to escape your fire. You start to feel 'in the zone' when pulling wheelies and jumping your way out of certain death with improbable last gasp evasive manoeuvres.

We are all made of stardust, and that's exactly what we return to upon failure in this game, our bodies floating into the darkness in millions of fragments. In conclusion, this is one small rip-off of Moon Patrol, one giant waste of potentially the greatest idea known to mankind.