Sunday, November 6, 2011

Space Invaders

Space Invaders is one of the most popular video games. Released for the arcades in 1978 by Taito Corporation and licensed for production in the U.S. by Midway Games, the game is rated as one of the most important ever created, is also the precursor of the style of game known as Shoot 'em up. It was designed and programmed by Toshihiro Nishikado for Taito.

In Space Invaders the player controls the movements of the gun "Laser Base", which is a laser cannon at the bottom of the screen. From the top the aliens arranged in rows march toward the gun. The player's goal is to prevent aliens from reaching the bottom of the screen and for this task the cannon has infinite ammo to shoot. By hitting and destroying a large number of aliens, the remaining begin to march quickly towards the player. When the player eliminates all the aliens, a new line is built now starting a line below of the previous wave. Occasionally a flying ship comes on top of the screen and gives the player bonus points when hit.
According to its developer, the aliens are inspired by the description of attackers in the novel The War of the Worlds.

It was a success and generated hundreds of millions of dollars, not only for developers but also for other companies which have copied the success formula of the game. The gameplay was very innovative at the time. Before, most games had a time to finish but in Space Invaders the game only ends when the player loses his three lives, so the duration of the game was in the hands of the skills of the players. The arcade game was the first to be converted to the Atari 2600 console, and it was an instant success not only for capturing the characteristics of the original game but also for adding new versions of the game.

There are two game modes, "ORIGINAL GAME MODE" where you play as if you were actually in a video arcade at the time and the "VS GAME MODE" where you face a friend in a very fierce battle, that wins, of course, who first set off the aliens.


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