The Game: As the pilot of a super-fast intergalactic rescue ship (which is also armed to the teeth, which explains the absence of a red cross painted on the hull), you must navigate your way through hazardous comets and space debris, entering low orbit around various planets from which you must rescue a certain number of stranded civilians. But there’s a reason you’re armed – some alien thugs mean to keep those people stranded, and will do their best to blast you into dust. You can return the favor, and after you rescue the needed quota of people from the surface, you must align your ship with a series of launch rings to reach orbit again. (Imagic, 1982)
Memories: The coolest Imagic game ever, Moonsweeper kept my attention for hours and hours, just trying to beat the bloody thing. Imagic, the closest thing Activision had to competition in the contest to create the best third-party games for the Atari 2600, did an excellent job: Moonsweeper‘s graphics were almost flicker-free, and where there was flicker from an overabundance of on-screen sprites, it wasn’t critical or life-threatening (unlike, say, the ghastly ghosts of Atari’s Pac-Man cartridge). I always got a kick out of the fact that “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” played when you lost your last life. Highly recommended!