Seriously man. Nothing.
So Earth Vs. Moon probably could have been called Missile Command … of Missiles … that Are Aimed at the Moon. Because the gameplay is an extended riff on that old arcade warhorse Missile Command, granddaddy of all trackball games:
Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Missile Command rawked back in the day, and analog games like this are a great fit for the touchscreen. EvMis even set up so that if you drag your finger across the screen, your little missile bases send up a prismatic spray of missiles all along the line you made with your finger, setting up a sweet cascading crescent of destruction.
Unfortunately once you’ve done that a couple of times you’ve pretty much used up all your missiles, and the Earth is therefore doomed to beglassed by the Mooninites, Reach-style. Whatever. Totally worth it.
This tension between joy and crushing defeat is pretty much the essence of EvM. You’re constantly dazzled by the lovely and quite witty writing and art direction. There’s a level that goofs on Space Invaders, and another one that does — what is that, Sinistar?
But bottom line the gameplay is pretty but not that deep, and damn, it is not easy. I crapped out at level 19 (appropriately entitled “Too Hard”), and so far I don’t have the will to go back.
You win, Mooninites. I hope you can see this. Because I’m doing it as hard as I can.