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The day started out as just another relaxing Sunday drive...  However craters, rocks, mines, road spikes, plummeting asteroids and being bombed by the angry locals who don’t like you driving around their neighbourhood made it less pleasant than normal.

Crater Crawler is an arcade game inspired by the classic Moon Patrol, written entirely in NextBASIC (2.07L) for the ZX Spectrum Next.  


FYI : Version 1.1 Update!

I noted people playing the game were struggling a little with the game, so I decided that I just had to update this with a few changes. 

  1. Added a new options screen for tweaking the game play:
    1. Can fire up to 4 bullets at a time for both vertical and forward guns
    2. Adjust the jump so the vehicle stays in the air longer
    3. Change the timing between the appearance of each alien
    4. Turn off the ability to move mid-air jump if you think its too easy.
  2. Updated the progress bar from a pointer, to a moving 'bar' as per suggestion in the comments.
  3. Added some more time to the title screen's so that they don't flash past so quickly.
  4.  An 'addendum' document details the code changes made.

The updated version  / documentation has been added to the downloads.



  • Top 5 High score table
  • Animated sprite graphics
  • AY sound effects
  • Parallax scrolling effects
  • Keyboard and Joystick support


  • A 64 page code breakdown  document that runs over the code and explains how it works.
  • Additional code breakdown addendum that highlights the changes made to the program in version 1.1 (you will also want to download the 64 page as well - these are just changes to the program)
  • BASIC code in text file format

Play it as-is, look at the coding and play with it for some learning fun, even edit the code and graphics to make it your own!   Enjoy.

Updated 3 days ago
Published 9 days ago
Rated 4.0 out of 5 stars
(1 total ratings)
Tags8-Bit, Arcade, basic, Open Source, Side Scroller, ZX Spectrum, zx-spectrum-next


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

cratercrawler_game.zip 17 kB
cratercrawler_src.txt 25 kB
Codebreakdown_CraterCrawler_v1.pdf 1 MB
cratercrawler_v11_update.zip 18 kB


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Hi, your game looks awesome. How do I need to load this bas file in CSpect emulator ?? Thanks in advance.

 Loving the game... a little too hard for me.. looking forward to 1,1

Good news is 1.1 is already in the downloads. :)

The added 'game options' will allow you to have up to 4 bullets at a time in both vertical and forward guns (which makes things a lot easier to shoot - especially when there are a constant stream of bullets), you can also give the aliens a longer wait before they appear one after the other (setting it to 5) so you get more time to shoot each one before they pour onto the screen and start dumping bombs down.

I think I also adjusted the bombing frequency to be slightly less at the start, but off the top of my head I can't recall.

The other options are more small 'features' - one switches off the ability to move while in the air if you want to make it a tad harder.  The Jump length can be tweaked to allow jumps to be longer or shorter (2 is the default) - though that can also lead to slightly harder game play as well.

Cool game and nice to be able to customize the game with the new options. 4 bullets at a time was definitely too easy for me, so I used the assumed default settings for my video (like not pressing O after loading the game).

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lol!  Yup - 4 bullets definitely makes things waaaaay too easy - literally just keep firing and almost never miss an alien or rock.

Thanks for posting!

Here is my little tribute to your game, brought this on the back of this play as I had done pretty well in Moon Patrol and this is a great vision of this.

Awesome!  Just took a peek at the vid - definitely feel like I made this way too hard the more I watch people play it!  lol!

Thanks for the kind comment.

If the map bars could be filled in incrementally with yellow as the truck rolls along the pointer arrow at the bottom could be eliminated.

(1 edit)

That's a cool suggestion!  I've got an idea in mind on approaching that one now you put that thought in my head... :)

After watching a few people playing this, I am seeing a few things I would like to tweak/add here...  Maybe an update in the near future if I get some time.

Brilliant as always. Could do with a little shield option, sometimes its a little unfair with the enemy fire. Oh, and did someone say it needs game music? haha. Awesome Job, Moon Patrol was one of my Favs on the Atari 2600.

Actually, I removed a few things because I found it was *too easy* in CSpect, but on the Next its a whole other story!   The aliens really didn't drop bombs as frequently as that on CSpect, but now they're fairly aggressive.

very nicey.