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Space Invaders (Atari 2600)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
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Description

Earth is under attack from rows of bomb dropping aliens, and you need to defend it! The rows of aliens begin at the top of the screen, and you control a laser cannon at the bottom of the screen. Your goal is to earn points by shooting the aliens before they can land. The aliens march back and forth, and each time the end of the screen is reached they will drop one row closer to the bottom. Shoot them all, and you move on to the next (tougher) level, but if even one of them lands the game is over. From time to time a flying saucer will pass by along the top of the screen; shoot this to earn extra points. Just above your laser cannon are three shields; these can be used to hide from the alien's bombs, but will also block your own shots. You begin the game with a limited number of laser cannons, and if all of them are bombed the game ends.

Screenshots

Space Invaders Atari 2600 The scores disappear when a saucer flies by.
Space Invaders Atari 2600 The game in black and white mode
Space Invaders Atari 2600 A game in progress
Space Invaders Atari 2600 The game demo mode

Alternate Titles

  • "太空侵略者" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Space Monsters" -- Working title
  • "Invasores do Espaço" -- Brazilian title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Lives up to the original Arcade game! vedder (20147) 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

The Press Says

All Game Guide 1998 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
The Video Game Critic Jun 30, 2004 A- 91
The Atari Times Oct 20, 2003 85 out of 100 85
Game Freaks 365 2004 8 out of 10 80

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Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Space Invaders appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Atari 2600 version

Space Invaders for the Atari 2600 was the first home license of a coin-op video game. It is said that people were buying Atari 2600 just so they could play the game at home.

Characters

The "space" invaders are creatures from the sea-octopi, squid, and crabs. The resemblance is much easier to spot in the coin-op version.

Coins

It is rumored that the arcade version of this game was responsible for a coin shortage in Japan upon it's initial release.

References to the game

  • Space Invaders is referenced in the Futurama episode Anthology of Interest II. The episode consists of three shorts; one of which involves Fry asking the "what-if" machine "what if life was more like a video game." The "Invaders" are actually alien spacecrafts. There is a scene that recreates the game; the scene even involves Fry shooting through his own shield.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons TVS show titled "Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part Two" there is a mention of Space Invaders in this exchange between Groundskeeper Willie and Chief Wiggum:
    Willie: It's impossible for me to fire a pistol. If you'll check me medical records, you'll see I have a cripplin' arthritis in me index fingerrrs. Look at 'em! [holds them up] I got it from "Space Invaders" in 1977.

    Wiggum: Aw, yeah. That was a pretty addictive video game.

    Willie: [surprised] Video game?
  • The arcade version of the game is referenced in Iain Banks 1984 novel The Wasp Factory.

Awards

  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #6 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
    • Issue #46 - #14 in the "Top 25 Atari 2600 Games" poll


Information also contributed by Chris Chidester, gamewarrior, Marquerite Richardson, PCGamer77, Scaryfun, Sciere and FatherJack

Related Web Sites

wanax (291) added Space Invaders (Atari 2600) on Apr 05, 2003
Other platforms contributed by Michael Cassidy (5513), Daniel Johansson (7), RKL (5614), Kabushi (119515), Servo (55897), koffiepad (10041) and *Katakis* (37691)