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Our eyes were turned to the sky once again a few weeks ago when NASA announced that liquid water had been found on Mars. What better way to celebrate a potential landing, one day, than reliving the precision-based gameplay of Atari's 1979 classic, "Lunar Lander," free in your browser? Click below to play the game in HTML from Atari's Classic Arcade website!
The object of Lunar Lander is to position your spacecraft to land safely on platforms on the moon. You have access to thrusters and can move your ship in a 180-degree arc. Keep an eye on your fuel gauge; if it runs out, you're likely headed for a crash landing!
The original Lunar Lander served as a demo, of sorts, for Atari's vector graphics system. It was the technology used in the much more popular Asteroids game that released a few months later. That game added guns to your ship, which attracted a much wider fan base in arcades.
Jack Burness is credited as the original developer of the game, which was an arcade port of a computer game with the same name released in 1973. That version of the game featured a McDonald's restaurant at one of the landing locations. If you landed safely there, an astronaut would exit the lander and enter the burger joint. If you destroyed it, the game would berate you with text.
What's your favorite game set in space? Let us know in the comments below, and check back next week for another free title in the Tech Deck!