Space Invaders is a Fixed Shooter game developed by Taito. It was originally released in 1978 for Arcades and for many other platforms over the years afterwards.

Arcade flier

Gameplay Edit

Space Invaders is a Fixed Shooter game. Players must shoot the approaching aliens before they reach the bottom of the screen. Once the aliens reach a screen edge they will drop down a notch closer to the bottom; if one or more aliens reaches the bottom, the player will be "invaded" and the game will end with no matter how many laser bases are left in reserve. As more and more aliens are destroyed, the faster they will move. Aliens also fire at the player, although there is an array of cover to protect the player, but it is destroyable by the aliens, their and the player's fire. If the player gets hit by an alien's shot then they will lose a laser base and the game will end when there are no more bases left in reserve.

A high scoring U. F. O. also appears several times during a round that is worth a random amount of points unless a secret method is used to score 300 points with a certain amount of counted shots.

Official portsEdit

The game has been ported to many consoles, computers, handhelds and via downloadable media over the years.

Atari 2600Edit

This was the first ever arcade to home game license, becoming a huge best seller, which it included 112 games with multiple playing variables. It was created by Atari and was published by them and Sears in 1980.


"Silver label" cartridge variation and instructions.

Differences with this port included only 36 onscreen invaders rather than 55 like on the arcade original. It also had six different kinds of invaders, rather than three, plus they are also worth different point values. There are also only three bunkers on this version (rather than four), but once the invaders started getting close to the Earth (another difference is that this version took place on Earth, rather than on the moon), instead of the invaders erasing them bit by bit as they plowed through the bunkers, the bunkers would just disappear altogether at once.

Also, instead of being a random high point value (except for when the 300 point secret was performed on the arcade original), the Command Alien Ship (as it was called this time around) had only one set point value of 200 points every time it was shot on this version (although in some variations it is only worth 100). No extra laser base is awarded like on the original, and the invaders' and players' shots also do not cancel each other out, as they just pass through each other on this port, plus both the players' and invaders' shots move slower as well. There are also two small color bars at the bottom screen edges indicating the furthest points that players can move their laser cannons to.

Game variationsEdit

Further changes/additions in regards to this cartridge other than playing a "regular" Space Invaders game include the following:

  • Moving Shields--shields move back and forth
  • Zigzagging Laser Bombs--Invaders' shots zigzag back and forth towards the earth
  • Fast Laser Bombs--Invaders' Bombs drop quickly
  • Invisible Invaders--Invaders are invisible unless one (or the Command Alien Ship) is shot, which they then briefly reappear
  • Large laser cannon--flipping a difficulty switch on the 2600 console to the A position makes players' laser cannons twice as large

Game variations, player setupEdit

Not only are there many variations as far as certain Invaders' characteristics goes, but there are also many variations in regards to player setups as well.

There are two player alternating variations, like with the original arcade game. However, there are also variations to not only have both players onscreen at once, but there are also several competing variations as well, such as ones where if one player gets hit by invader fire, the other player is awarded 200 points. Others include alternating shots where if one player takes too long to fire their laser cannon then it will automatically shoot.

Other variations include ones where one player controls the cannon, along with one player can only move the cannon to the right, while the other player can only move it to the left. Other variations allow one movement and one shot per player, then the other player gets to do the same, and others have one player move the laser cannon while the other player fires.

Flipping the difficulty switch from the B to A position will also make the players' laser cannons twice as wide.

Space Invader/s (Entex)Edit

The original handheld game of Space Invader was created and distributed by Entex in 1980. Differences include having the bombs the invaders dropped being the same size of the invaders and they would take more than one time to reach a screen edge before the formation dropped down closer to the player's laser base. The next handheld was entitled Space Invaders, coming out a year later and being programmed by different individuals and having slightly different game play.

Atari 5200Edit

Created and released by Atari in 1982, this version had 48 invaders this time around rather than 55. They also came out from the left side of the screen, rather than appearing all at once in an overhead formation. Once half of the invaders are destroyed during a level, their speed doubles and their point values increase. The “invader march” sound also increases in volume as well with the fewer that remain onscreen.

There are also four waves in a game; if the player completes them all then the invaders will change in appearance, start moving faster and firing more accurately but are worth more points.

Like with the 2600 version, there are only three shields onscreen and they disappear all at once when invaders get too close to them.

The saucer is now known as the Enemy Command Saucer and its point value changes due to how many shots it takes to hit during a wave.

The game is also compatible with the Trak-ball controller, allowing the players’ laser tank (as it is called in this version) to move at a faster speed.

Variations include games where the player gets either three or five lives to start with, slow or fast enemy bombs, slow and fast enemy bombs that alternate during a game and “home-in” enemy bombs that seek laser tanks.

Atari 8-bitEdit

This version is pretty similar to the Atari 5200 cart, although the invaders come out of a large spaceship that takes up the left side of the screen.

Plug and play by Radica!Edit

This was a plug and play system that could be hooked up to a television set. On Space Invaders, the graphics were slightly changed on this version, along with only being for one player. Qix, Colony 7, Phoenix and Lunar Rescue were also included with the unit. It was published by Radica! in 2004.

Space Invaders (Excalibur)Edit

Although these came out in several different models, the invaders for the most part were a lot larger proportion-wise than on the arcade original. One model was in black and white while others were in color, which were released by Excalibur.

Space Invaders/QixEdit

This was a re-release of the arcade game by Namco in 2002. Qix was also included in the unit.

Retro Arcade Featuring Space InvadersEdit

This plug and play system was developed by Code Mystics and published by Jakks Pacific in 2011. It also contains Bubble Bobble, Tube-It, Qix, Birdie King, Legend Of Kage, Alpine Ski, The Fairyland Story, Chack 'n Pop and Puzznic.


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