Space Invaders arcade game is considered as one of the frontrunners of action arcade games back in the 80s. This Japanese alien shooting game was developed by Tomohiro Nishikado, a renowned game developer in the video game industry, and was released by Taito in 1978. Its developer was inspired by blockbuster hits like The War of the Worlds, Breakout, and Star Wars which led for its theme to be patterned on the said titles.
The game became an instant hit upon its release when it was eventually granted access and licensed in the United States in 1980. It even grew its platform coverage from coin-operated arcade machines to consoles of the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Atari 2600. Up to date, Space Invaders has produced more than $500 million in returns.
Eventually, Space Invaders has inspired game developers to release similar themed games and expand the reach of classic video games in the industry.
Space Invaders Gameplay
This popular 2D shooter game features a green spaceship which is being manned by a human to protect the planet Earth from a massive alien invasion. Originally, its developers planned of having human soldiers coming in waves instead of aliens. However, it may signify a negative message against humans, so they changed them to alien beings instead.
The primary goal of this game is for players to control the spaceship and eliminate groups of aliens by shooting at them before they reach Earth. As mentioned, they come in waves of 55 invaders per stage - which are lined up in all 6 columns of the game screen. Each group moves in a back and forth pattern, while advancing towards the planet. Players may easily spot the distinct sync of their movement making it easy for them to predict their next move. However, they should also watch out for aliens randomly firing shots towards their character. Once all 55 aliens are eradicated, the player advances to the next level with a new batch of aliens.
Players can also see sets of structures on-screen which will safeguard them from the shots fired by the enemies. There are four in-game structures where players can hide to avoid getting shot. But they should be mindful that these shields will not permanently protect them from receiving the damage. They will eventually wear out and allow alien shots to pass through them.
Space Invaders arcade game is one of the most challenging arcade game as players are only given a set of lives to stay alive and accumulate as many points as they can. As the level progresses, the enemies move faster and are unpredictable of their shooting pattern.
Space Invaders Scoring Details
There are four types of enemy characters present in the Space Invaders game screen. Each character has a specific score equivalent once it is shot and eliminated. Low invaders - aliens with huge heads - reward 10 points. Whereas, middle invaders - aliens with pointy antennas - score 20 points each. Lastly, upper invaders - octopus-like aliens - grant 30 points.
Players can also spot a UFO hovering above each wave. This mysterious vessel can reward them between 50 to 300 points once shot down.
An extra life is also given every time a player accumulates at least 1,500 points.
Space Invaders Winning Strategies
Several strategies are available online to help players succeed in action arcade games like Space Invaders. Here are some tips and hints on how to pass several levels and excel in this classic alien shooting game.
Maximize the Green Buildings
These structures can withstand a number of hits before being destroyed. Players can seek shelter on these buildings when they are caught in the middle of enemy fire. They can camp in one of the shelters, move out to shoot, then go back as the shot is being reloaded. But don't camp out too long as the invaders are constantly approaching even though they don't receive any retaliation from the spaceship.
Eliminate by Columns
Players are advised to clear out enemy waves by columns and not by rows. It will decrease the phasing of the aliens as it will require them more time to reach the edge of the screen before going down. This will give players time to eliminate more invaders approaching them.
Score more with the UFO
It is also important to take advantage with the bonus UFO hovering above the game screen. This bonus spaceship rewards 50 to 300 points for a successful hit. Players must eliminate them first before the wave ends. They also don't appear when less than eight aliens remain on the screen.
Higher levels = Faster enemies
Players should also be cautious that the game's difficulty increases as they move one level higher. Aside from the faster movement and shooting speeds of the enemies, they can also observe that the green buildings are easily destroyed. It is best for players to constantly move and avoid being shot by these invaders.
Some advanced players intentionally create a hole in the middle of the green structures to broaden their firing space and increase their chances of taking out an enemy.