Atari’s 1979 arcade classic Lunar Lander is being reimagined by Dreams Uncorporated, the studio behind last year’s striking Cris Tales, for release in early 2024.
The original Lunar Lander (perhaps the most famous entry in a sub-genre that can be traced back as far as 1969) was exquisite in its compelling simplicity, requiring players to do nothing more than carefully park their lunar landing module at a fixed point on the Moon’s rugged terrain – by manipulating their craft’s thrusters and controlling its orientation.
Dream Uncorporated’s reimagining, though, which will be known as Lunar Lander: Beyond, is looking to do something a little bit different, taking the moon landing premise of the arcade original and infusing it with a “rich back story” and “deep narrative”. There’s also talk of “simulation” and “precision gravity flier mechanics” in the studio’s announcement.
“As a newly appointed captain of the Pegasus Corporation, you must guide a vibrant crew of intrepid explorers, eclectic advisors, and state-of-the-art landers through a series of demanding missions,” Atari explains in its reveal of Dream Uncorporated’s “modern adaptation”.
“Brace yourself as you soar through the cosmos, delivering crucial cargo, extracting valuable resources, and conducting daring rescues across a celestial tapestry of enigmatic moons and captivating planets,” the publisher continues. There’s peril afoot amid all this spacefaring, however, with the sudden appearance of mysterious portals threatening to send players on a “collision course with sinister truths that lie unseen behind the universe.”
Lunar Lander: Beyond follows a number of surprisingly strong outings from Atari in recent times, including Jeff Minter’s excellent reimagining of prototype arcade game Arra Akkh and last year’s wonderful interactive-museum-style Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration. It’s due to launch for Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC in the “first half” of next year.