Neon Invasion Earth title screen

Space Invaders, starting off in the arcade, is one of the most popular video games ever, which pitted players against waves of invaders that would come closer to their laser base while shooting the entire time. Bonus U. F. O.s flew overhead several times during a level that could be shot for bonus points.

Neon Invasion Earth takes the basic gameplay of Space Invaders, although it situates the player's laser base around planet Earth, along with adding power-ups, several different invader types, 100 levels, invader formations and some puzzle aspects to the game. The graphics are also vector, rather than raster this time around.

The game was released for the PC in 2017. It was created by Søren Borgquist.

Gameplay, arcade modeEdit

The basic gameplay of Space Invaders is left intact for the most part where the player uses their laser base to shoot invaders that are constantly coming closer to the Earth. Invaders drop bombs, which if one of them hits the player's base it will be destroyed and the game will end when there are no more remaining bases. If an invader lands on Earth then the player will also lose a base that way as well.

Bonus saucers also start appearing that will release a power-up when shot, although they do not start appearing until after over a dozen levels have been cleared. Invaders also can release power-ups, although these are not available on all levels.

There are many differences and additions when compared to Space Invaders, however, such as the player’s laser base is positioned and can move 360 degrees around the Earth (for the most part; several levels have an Alien Overlord/Boss Challenge instead [see next section]). The Earth expands with every time it’s hit by an invader bomb but will shrink with every invader that is killed.

For the most part, invaders attack in waves and there is one or more waves that must be wiped out in order to advance to the next level, although certain levels have a requirement to pass them rather than being in regards to killing all onscreen invaders (see next two sections). There are 100 levels to unlock as the player progresses and statistics are presented at the end of a game (such as number of shots fired during a game, hit accuracy, number of invader bullets shot, number of power-ups caught, etc.). The player can try again at the level where they last left off in a new game.

The player also starts off each game with five shields that make them invincible to invader bullets for several seconds when activated. All levels have names and/or an onscreen clue given in regards what needs to be accomplished in order to defeat each level.

Invader/level-related typesEdit

  • Standard invader–these are regular invaders that only take one shot from the player’s laser base to be destroyed
  • Multiple hit invader–takes two or more hits before being killed
  • Indestructible invader–self-explanatory; cannot be destroyed
  • Alien Overlord (aka Boss Challenge)–an alien is in the center sphere rather than the Earth. Rather than defeating one or more waves of invaders to pass these levels, the player must take a different approach to defeat the Overlord and the level
  • Saucer Shootout levels–the player has a limited amount of time to shoot down up to 10 saucers before advancing to the next level
  • Smartbomb invader–all invaders are indestructible except for one (if not several), which taking out those invaders will enable the player to pass the level
  • Some invaders are fast and/or take multiple hits before being killed

Power-ups/level-related objectivesEdit

Most power-ups are time-based as noted via bar at the bottom right of the screen when the power-up is caught.

  • Bouncy Castle–gives player shield that reflects invaders' bullets
  • Extra Life–self-explanatory
  • Full Plate–adds a bonus saucer to the mix when they otherwise do not appear during various levels
  • Laser–continuous shot that wipes out all invaders it comes into contact with
  • Power Shot–wipes out an entire vertical column of invaders
  • Shield–provides brief invulnerability
  • Slowdown enemies–slows down invaders' moving speed
  • Tripple Shots–fires three shots at once
  • Big Earth–the Earth starts off in these levels being much larger than normal and must be shrunk down to its regular starting level size in order for the player to advance to the next level
  • Double base–the player controls two laser bases on these levels, one on each side of the Earth, each of which responds to controls. If either one is hit by an invaders’ bullet then that costs the player a base
  • Fire malfunction–the player’s base cannot fire during the entire level, but instead has a constant shield that repels invader fire, so they can be destroyed that way
  • Five Double Speed Slow Descent–invaders move fast and are indestructible for the most part; a certain action needs to be performed in order to pass this level
  • Various other themes/invaders accompanying levels (such as dog and cat invader levels)

Gameplay, classic modeEdit

(Note: all 100 levels of Neon Invasion Earth must be beaten first in order to unlock this extra game.)


Level select screen. Here all levels through 71 have been unlocked.

Like with Space Invaders, many invaders appear over the player’s laser base that move in a formation. Once the formation reaches a screen edge, it will drop down a notch closer to the player. Invaders fire at the player’s base, which, once hit, the player will lose a life and the game will end when there are no more remaining lives. The player will also lose a life if an invader lands on the planet’s surface. The player, in the meantime, must shoot all invaders in order to advance to the next level, although there are several protective shields that the player can take cover behind, although they will become damaged from being hit by firepower from either the player or the invaders.

A high scoring U. F. O. will also appear during a level that is worth a random amount when shot.

Some differences from the original Space Invaders include the majority of the graphics being in vector (although the shields are raster). The invader formation also never gets any closer with each new level and invaders can split into two at times. U. F. O.s can also appear right after the other at times during a game, fire several bullets in a wide arc and will also release the arc of bullets when destroyed by the player. Statistics also appear at the end of a game in regards to the total number of shots fired, invaders killed, how many U. F. O.s were shot down and the player’s shooting accuracy.

Extra featuresEdit

  • Instructions are included
  • Screen resolution can be tweaked to several different sizes
  • Controls can be remapped
  • Sounds, music, “glow” and background can be toggled on and off
  • Player’s username can be changed
  • High scores can be synched to appear on the official Neon Invasion Earth web page


  • Move laser base–arrow keys (left/right only)
  • Fire–control key
  • Shield–alt key (when applicable)
  • Pause game–escape key
  • Cut down waiting time to start next level–any key

The controls are the same for Classic mode minus the shield function/key.


The game took six and a half years before being released due to programmer Søren Borgquist growing tired of play-testing the same levels over and over again. A person known only as Haggler also gave a lot of feedback and suggestions to Borgquist, who kept on adding features to a game he thought would be much simpler and quicker to do originally. The gameplay was also tweaked in regards to its difficulty and the final product was given a makeover in regards to its level select tiers.

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