You're out for revenge after Sir Humphrey Bogus, inventor of the digital tea bag, said something rather unpleasant about your grandmother. Seated in a multidirectional space craft, you begin your cruise of death over a vertically scrolling lunar surface.
This moon world is encrusted with craters and enemy bases from which come a stream of invulnerable blast molecules. These circular particles compete with numerous other destructive features such as light bulbs, bombs with rotating tails, and spinning boulders to blast your fragile space vehicle into insignificance, doing more damage than Arthur Daley could ever repair. Approaching hazards must be avoided, or destroyed; and lunar bases can be taken out by accurate fire from your blazing blasters before they send too many obnoxious weapons in your direction.
Wipe out these perils and you earn points - but if they pierce your craft's vulnerable protective skin, you lose one of your three lives. Watch out for the Mona Lisa on the third level (though even she can have her enigmatic smirk removed by a sudden decapitation) and deal some irrevocable blows to the smug-looking amities (y'know, those horrible happy badges that ageing hippies wear).
Moonstnke is the first game to use Movieload, a system developed by Mirrorsoft which displays changing text and pictures while the main program is loading.
'The graphics are fantastic, getting better as you progress from level to level, and the animation of some of the nasties is well done and very smooth. The general idea is very similar to Lightforce games; the main object is to destroy everything. The only thing wrong with Moonstrike is that your ship moves too slowly and so avoiding bombs becomes very frustrating. But it's an ace game.'
'When smooth, well-presented, vertically scrolling shoot-'em-ups such as Lightforce first appeared on the Speccy I was interested. But now, after a year, I'm sick of them because there's been no great improvement in quality or gameplay. Originality (or unoriginailty) aside, Moonstrike is boring; it's a little too difficult so there's rarely any sense of achievement, and it plays far too slowly to be appealing. But the graphics, the game's redeeming feature, are excellent: the characters are large and beautifully animated and the attention to detail on the landscape is amazing. There are a few nice touches - look out for the Mona Lisa! If you haven't got a game of this type on the shelf already Moonstrike is reasonable, but others are just that bit more playable...'
'The Movie-loading of Moonstrike uses humour reminiscent of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, but it's just as well there's a normal loader too; the new technique takes time and after you've seen it once or twice the hilarity begins to wear off. The game itself is a competent variation on the traditional shoot-'em-up, and the peculiar aliens such as bomb-spitting flowers and killer light bulbs brighten up what could have been tedious.'