The Moon Project

An innovative and complex real-time strategy(RTS) game set on Earth in the year 2150. Three teams duke it out to try to get resources to build a space craft so that they can escape Earth before it plummets into the sun.

Release Date:

March 2001.

Pros:

  • This is the first RTS I have played where there is night and day. And lighting affects visibility in turn affecting strategy. You can have your tanks turn off their lights at night and ambush the approaching enemy.
  • This is also the first RTS I have played where you can custom build your units. In fact you have to design your units first before you can even build. Pick a chasis and put a 105mm gun and a rocket launcher on it. Or put twin rocket launchers on it, it is all up to you.
  • Even some of the buildings can be customised with weapons.
  • This is also the first RTS I have played where you can dig trenches, flatten the terrain and dig tunnels underneath. You can do battle in the tunnels too.
  • Good and dynamic music. It is not Command & Conquer but it is still good and fits the game very well.
  • Innovative multiple location management. The single player campaign consists of your main base and two mini-bases. Each base has its money, and you must transport money and units between them to get things done. When you start a mission, there is the mission area, and you transport units and money to the mission area to use.
  • The three teams are very different.
  • Full install does not need the CD in the drive to play. Of course this does not matter if you buy the DRM free version from GOG.com.
  • The super weapons are really super weapons.

Cons:

  • The game is quite complex and difficult to learn.
  • The mission messages are sometimes too vague. They say do this, but do not tell you how you are supposed to do it. I had to explore around a lot to figure out how to actually do the thing they said. I am not sure if this was intentionally made this way, but I find it very annoying. If you are the type of person that must succeed every mission, be prepared to spend hours trying to figure out how to do stuff. If not, some missions you can fail and continue.
  • Whoever wrote the mission messages also seem to get their left/right, east/west directions mixed up. Either that or they are describing things from a weird point of view.
  • Your units path finding is a bit stupid. They will get themselves into traffic jams and sometimes keep moving back and forths for no reason. And for air units, sometimes they refuse to land where they are told. Aircraft landing is important as it is a means to rearm and repair.

Other Points:

  • The graphics are old but good enough to make the game enjoyable.
  • Strange but FRAPS reports that the game runs at the maximum of 20 frames per second.
  • Like Homeworld, the units and money you have from one mission carries on to the next mission in the single player campaign. But you must send all your units back to base, or you will lose them.
  • The user interface is a bit large and takes up quite a bit of screen real estate. The good thing is you can hide them if you wish.
  • For an old game, it can run at native resolution on my PC at 1280*800. Unfortunately some of the interface goes a bit wrong and some text gets hidden. If you are not familiar with the game, I suggest playing in 4:3 mode first and see what is available.
  • When you capture the other sides' construction unit or buildings, you cannot build that side's units or buildings.
  • The Moon Project consistently causes the Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) if I press the Windows key while playing the game. It will go to desktop OK, but when I try to go back to the game I get the BSOD. I have not put this as a con because I am not sure if it is a driver or game issue. If I access the options or the briefing screen though, I can Alt-Tab to another application and return to the game fine.

Biases:

  • Reviewed version 2.1.
  • I have never played Earth 2140 or the other Earth 2150 games.
  • This is one of those rare games I can run with full graphics.
  • I really liked Dune 2 and Command And Conquer.
  • I also liked Dark Reign, Warcraft 1 and 2, Dark Reign and Total Annihilation.
  • I have not played any multiplayer games.
  • I have not completed any of the campaigns.

DRM:

  • The Moon Project is DRM free.

Patches:

  • 2.1 - I patched the game before reviewing.

Minimum Requirements (as stated on box):

  • Pentium 200
  • Windows 95/98/2000/NT
  • Graphics card 3D Accelerator (Direct3D, OpenGL)
  • 32MB RAM
  • 8-speed CD-ROM
  • 16bit Soundcard

Computer Played On:

  • Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz
  • 2Gb RAM
  • ATI Radeon X1600 256Mb RAM
  • Win XP Pro
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

Handy Tips:

  • In the single player campaigns, you do not need to move all your money from the mission area to the main base before ending the mission. The money will automatically be collected. But you must mine all the money in the mission area before it is considered yours. Also remember to ferry all units back to base.

Tags

Game Comparer



The Moon Project box art.The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot. The Moon Project screenshot.
scroll screen shots scroll screen shots