Year Of Release: 1979
While Space Invaders was not the first video game ever created you really do have to give it the credit for being the first global smash hit video game. In many ways, Space Invaders changed the whole video game industry. This was one of the very first space shooting games to be made. And at the time it was a very ambitious game with game designer Tomohiro Nishikado having to create specialist software so that he could make the game as the current way of making video games simply was not up to the task.
Back in 1979, Space Invaders from a game play point of view was much more complex than the other games of the era. You control man kinds last hope against an alien invasion. You control a tank, spaceship or whatever you want to call it who needs to shoot a laser at aliens. The aliens move from left to right and the more of them you kill the faster they descend. A really cool feature is that as the aliens speed up so does the “music” which just adds to the tension. You have barriers which can protect you from the aliens lasers. Occasionally a spaceship will fly at the top of the screen, shooting this will score you some extra points. Once you defeat the aliens a new wave will appear who move faster and are harder to hit. Space Invaders back in 1979 and the early 80’s really did make you feel like you were in the middle of an alien war just like modern games such as Halo do for gamers today.
Part of the draw of Space Invaders was its amazing arcade cabinet. The cabinet had some amazing artwork on it and that big black space alien with his evil eyes was pretty menacing to see. In all the arcade cabinet did a great job of making gamers interested in the game before they even knew what it was about.
Current High Score: 184,870 by Richie Knucklez
Space Invaders was a huge hit and the port that was released for the Atari 2600 is credited as the first ever “system seller” video game. The sales of the Atari 2600 went through the roof with people buying the console just so they could play Space Invaders at home. As well as the Atari 2600, Space Invaders would be released and re-released many times on various systems and back into the arcades during the 80’s.
A new version called Space Invaders Part II or Space Invaders Deluxe depending on where you lived was released shortly after the success of the original game in 1979. The USA wound up getting an exclusive game in Space Invaders II the following year which included a two player mode.
Return Of The Invaders, Super Space Invaders 91, Minivaders, Space Invaders DX and Space Invaders 95 would be released from 1985 to 1995 keeping, Space Invaders relevant as gaming moved into the 16 and 32-bit era.