Space Invaders: 40th Anniversary (1978-2018)

The most memorable versions of Space Invaders in the last 40 years.
October 29, 2018
This year, 2018, Space Invaders celebrated its 40th anniversary! The original arcade game was released by Taito in June 1978 in Japan. I thought this was a good reason to look back at some of the more popular versions of the game! Let's go!

Space Invaders (Arcade, 1978)
Of course, the original arcade cabinet that started the franchise cannot be left unmentioned! Unfortunately, I was not yet born in 1978 and I never played the game on an original arcade cabinet. I hope some of you have memories of playing this game at arcade halls, pizza places or bowling alleys. I'd like to hear them!

Space Invaders (Atari 2600, 1980)
Nowadays, getting a port of an arcade game isn't exciting anymore, with all the powerful hardware around. (Heck, there aren't even arcade halls around anymore, because of the powerful hardware!) But in 1980 it was still pretty amazing to be able to play a powerful arcade game at home, in the front of your television. The Atari 2600 port of Space Invaders offered that possibility. It's a pretty decent version of the game too, so Space Invaders made a good start on a home gaming console. Together with Pac-Man (a port that wasn't so good), it helped to sell millions of Atari 2600 consoles.

Space Strike (MS-DOS, 1982)
Let's face it, most of us haven't played an original version of Space Invaders. No, the majority of gamers have played one of the many clones of the game. Space Strike was a popular clone for MS-DOS / PC-Booter / IBM-PC, in CGA-colors (you know, with the purple and blue). It was programmed by Michael Abrash, who got a little more famous in 1996 as co-programmer of the first person shooter Quake. This is another very playable version of Space Invaders.
Invaders! 2.0 (Macintosh, 1994)
People who read some of my previous articles will know that I played a lot of Macintosh games in the 90s. So, it's no suprise that I played Space Invaders the most on my Macintosh, in a clone game called Invaders! 2.0. There wasn't really anything special about this game, the graphics and sound were just decent enough. But the game saved high scores (in which you could enter your name) and I loved competing for that high scores with other players!

Space Invaders (PC/PlayStation, 1999)
Many more people made acquaintance with Space Invaders in this excellent 1999 edition by Activision for the PC, PlayStation and Nintendo 64. The game offered some nice enhancements, such as some cool power-ups and a good graphical update with a futuristic look. Many PC gamers will remember it, maybe because it came with one of the operating systems. (Maybe Windows 2000 OS, but I'm not sure). Or maybe because they all copied the game from each other.

Space Invaders Revolution (2005, Nintendo DS)
Space Invaders Extreme (2008, Nintendo DS)
Space Invaders Extreme 2 (2009, Nintendo DS)
The last bunch of Space Invaders games that seem to got some above average media attention were the remakes on the Nintendo DS. I can understand the appeal of the Extreme-titles, but I found them a little bit too hectic to play. For me, they missed the dreamy and relaxing slowness of the original titles. But that's probably just age talking!

What were you favorite versions of the Space Invaders? Did you play any of the above?
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