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Space Commanders

Moby ID: 7973


As a Space Invaders clone, your task in this game is to defend the Earth against endless waves of incoming aliens. The more you kill, the faster they go; if they complete their winding descent down the screen, your mission is over. Each row in the orderly squadrons is populated by a distinct breed of vaguely-insectoid intruder, and their point values vary accordingly - you get less for zapping the cannon-fodder at the bottom, more for the higher-ups. If you get them all, a new batch of uninvited guests will drop by for another (more difficult) round.

Five shields stand between you and the enemies - until they get too close - and can absorb a limited amount of damage before they give in. The occasional flying saucer which darts across the top of the screen (sometimes subversively marked "cop") can be shot for yet more points.

All of this can be done in five skill levels, ranging from novice to expert. A somewhat unusual feature is the ability to move your ship up and down as well as sideways, although you’ll always be aiming straight up.

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Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 8 ratings with 1 reviews)

The best version of Space Invaders I've played.

The Good
Out of all the Space Invaders type of games I've played, this one feels by far the nicest to control and play, and it's also one of the speediest, making it great for a quick blast. I still play it from time to time nowadays after all these years and it's no less enjoyable now than it ever was. I still can't beat my all time high score of just under 26,000. One day maybe!

The Bad
The worst part of playing Space Commanders is there are a couple of bugs which can spoil it occasionally, although generally the game runs very smoothly. There's really not much not to like in this game.

The Bottom Line
Like Paratrooper and Tetris, this is a classic game which is great due to its simplicity. As I said before, this is the best version of Space Invaders I've ever played.

DOS · by Olly Wright (1) · 2003



Space Commanders supports the use of a color or black and white monitor. If you choose the black and white option and are running the game on a true CGA card, the game will use the tweaked red-cyan-white-black palette. This palette appears as black and white on a color or black and white composite monitor, but as color on a color RGB monitor. The rest only uses the white color though, and will appear as black and white on any type of monitor.

Historical note

This game's publisher - Columbia Data Products - was a computer manufacturer that introduced the first ever "IBM PC compatible" computer (in June 1982). To attract buyers, CDP began offering a package of popular software titles bundled for free with its PCs. Space Commanders was released in 1983, to join this "Columbia Super Pack" of free bundled software.

Thus, the first clone of the trend-setting PC was being sold with the first PC clone of the trend-setting arcade game - quite fitting!


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  • MobyGames ID: 7973
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by wanax.

Additional contributors: Servo, vileyn0id_8088.

Game added December 21, 2002. Last modified February 22, 2023.