Space Invaders Extreme [import] review

Still videogaming's best plot


  • Appeals to casual and hardcore
  • Addictive challenge
  • Fantastic music


  • Too retro for some
  • Simplistic graphics
  • May cause obsession

It’s only Space Invaders. Sweep left and right, shoot straight, coin-ops and novelty wallets: you know Space Invaders. But not like this.

If you want, it’s just that game. Aliens are coming! Shoot them! Casual players can get through most of the game like this. Look deeper though, and it’s got reams and layers of different hi-scoring mechanics, enough to make even the hardest hardcore maniac drool like an inmate on red pill day.

Like in Ikaruga, chaining your shots (on types, or colours of alien) will get you higher scores. You’ll also get better weapons for a limited time. The precision and speed needed to score big feels like fervent tap dancing on a thin glass postage stamp. The more accurate and speedily successful you are, the more you’re pushed up to the next level - Extreme, where you’re given the chance to score even bigger and handle even more devastating weapons. There are no cities to hide behind and nothing to do except shoot fast and shoot right.

All the while the music incites you to play. It increases in urgency the closer you come to annihilation, but sometimes you’ll even find yourself using it as a shooting guide; the perfect complement to interstellar warfare. Retro-heads will cream themselves to compete in the high score stakes online, while casual observers will become gameplay obsessives, nurturing a new-found unlockables-seeking completion anxiety.

So some may say it’s ‘only’ Space Invaders. There is no ‘only’ with Space Invaders. It’s the only game ever to cause a coin shortage; the only one Shigeru Miyamoto calls the most revolutionary game ever. This is only Space Invaders, but now, it’s even better.

Mar 26, 2008

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DescriptionYou may have played it before, but that doesn't make it un-awesome. Pro-tip: remember to shoot where they are going to be, not where they are.