A decent Space Invaders
In the early Eighties, the ZX Spectrum just came out and Space Invaders
was still on everybody's minds at the time. The game was only released on consoles, meaning that the ZX went without a version. Psion changed all that when it introduced Space Raiders
, so anyone who owned a ZX at the time could have fun shooting the invaders while dodging their bullets, just as they did in the arcades.
What's makes this version stand out is the use of color graphics, which can be compared to Space Invaders Part II, where every two rows of invaders have a unique color. Starting from the bottom and working the way up, for instance, the first two rows of invaders are red, while the next two are green. This is a refreshing change from the monochrome graphics that plagued the original coin-op.
Although the animations are the same as the coin-op, the additional ones are impressive. I enjoyed watching the individual rows appear one by one. Also, when you lose one of your lives, the ship furthest to the left disappearing and your remaining ships sliding in its place is a nice touch.
The sound may be scratchy by today's standards, but this was how the ZX sounded due to the machine's AY-3-8912 sound chip. The sound certainly blends well with what you are doing and it keeps up with the action.
The only negative thing about the game is that it's slow. As a result, moving across the screen takes no more than five seconds, it is easy to dodge bullets, and you can easily shoot the UFO every time it passes you. Because of this, some people may lose interest in the game before they even completed a single wave.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, This game is a decent Space Invaders
clone for the ZX Spectrum. It is not as good, when compared to other versions of the game. The game has nice animations, and the gameplay matches that of the original coin-op version. And although the score advance table is missing, it makes up for it with a nice title screen. And people who brought a ZX before this came out on consoles could pick up Space Raiders
at a cheap price.