If you take a moment to think of some of the iconic gaming titles we’ve seen over the years, you’re likely to think of generation-defining characters such as Sonic, Mario, and Lara Croft. If you think back a little more, you’ll inevitably get to Pac-Man and then, in the end, you’ll arrive at the first game that you were able to save and achieve high scores with, Space Invaders.
What Was All The Fuss About?
For those of you too young to have experienced this classic, and those that have simply forgotten what all the fuss was about, Space Invaders is a 2D shoot-em-up where you take control of the Core Cannon in an attempt to save the world from alien invaders.
There are 48 aliens in each stage, and they are formed into squadrons comprising two rows of primary invaders, two rows of secondary invaders and a final row of squid-like invaders. There is also a UFO that makes an appearance at random intervals in the game. Due to the high points available for shooting this flying saucer-like craft, it generally results in the player abandoning their cautious approach and going hell-for-leather in an attempt to fry the alien foe.
The movement of the aliens is part-hypnotic and part-menacing as they approach ever closer towards you and the bright green buildings you’re using for cover, firing randomly as they advance. The more aliens ships you take out, the faster their advance becomes. If you do manage to destroy all of the invaders, your victory is short-lived, however, as another, more difficult wave of 48 aliens will arrive to continue the battle.
A Gaming Revolution
It is no overstatement to say that Space Invaders revolutionized the gaming industry: it marked the point where people first began to realize that gaming could rival the traditional entertainment platforms of movies and TV.
Classic games that should tip their hat to Space Invaders include Galaga, Asteroids, Defender and even the more state-of-the-art titles such as Call of Duty and Halo. There are a number of other games with a more direct link to the timeless alien eradicator title, of course, and at Sun Bingo you’ll find a unique online slot-based twist on the original alien eradicator title where you can actually play for real money. In what is becoming a popular online casino release, this version of Space Invaders features great gameplay, authentic sounds and slick graphics to go with the jackpots.
Great History And Lasting Legacy
Space Invaders was created by Tomohiro Nishikado, a Japanese game developer who was also responsible for the games Davis Cup, Soccer, Speed Race and Gun Fight – but nothing he developed came close to the success of Space Invaders, which is considered the first ever game in the shoot-em-up genre.
In a process unimaginable for today’s massive game design houses, Nishikado created every aspect of the game from the original concept, through the design process, including the sound, programming and even building the micro-computer for the arcade version of the game.
Nishikado took his inspiration from Star Wars and War of the Worlds, and the popularity of space-related media was prevalent when the game was released back in 1978, making it an instant hit.
Space Invaders’ popularity was so great as an arcade machine that there were widespread reports in Japan stating that the game caused a yen shortage. While this turned out not to be true, the fact that so many people believed it makes you realize just how popular this game was.
It was inevitable that Space Invaders would become a console classic when ported over to home systems, and when the title became available on the Atari 2600, it became the first game to sell over one million cartridges. Those that were around to play the game during its zenith might remember the fears people had about “Space Invaders wrist“, which has now manifested itself into “FIFA finger” or “Halo hand strain“.
The game is still part of popular culture today, adorning t-shirts and inspiring street artists. Space Invaders has an assured place in the minds of gamers and has a deserved place of honor in the annals of the greatest video games of all time.