Space Invaders: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview


Considered the original outer space themed video game, Space Invaders is both innovative and original. Created by Taito and released in 1978, Space Invaders quickly became exceedingly popular. In fact, the coins used by Japanese gamers were in short supply during the 1980s because so many of them were being used to play Space Invaders.

Space Invaders introduced many new concepts into the gaming world, including the first animated interlude and an original take on background music. The simplistic theme music increased or decreased in speed, depending on the proximity of enemies. As one of the first outer space shooters to gain massive success, Space Invaders gave audiences the opportunity to play for extended periods of time for minimal money.

Designed by notable game developer Tomohiro Nishika, Space Invaders reached cult-like status in Japan before being exported to the United States. Distributed by Bally Midway, the game also helped to popularize home gaming consoles. While many Space Invaders arcade machines were sold, four times as many copies were purchased for home gaming systems.

First appearing on the Atari 2600, Space Invaders was also ported to the NES, PSP and the original PlayStation. Multiple remakes, updated versions and even a pinball themed version of Space Invaders were released to audience through the 2000s. The latest version of Space Invaders was distributed in 2006.

Dozens of clones and unauthorized copycat versions of Space Invaders made their way to arcades in the early 80s. However, Taito and Bally Midway largely opted to avoid litigation with copyright infringers. Instead, the companies decided to focus their attention to releasing sequels such as T.T. Space Invaders.

Other outer space arcade games such as Galaga and Asteroids were heavily based on Space Invaders. These games helped to earn video game makers and developers to earn billions during the early 80s. In total, more than 300,000 Space Invaders arcade machines were purchased during the game’s heyday. Both one and two player versions of Space Invaders were produced.


Game Play Overview

While manning a single green colored spaceship, players have to shoot down four different types of enemies. Players can take refuge behind four structures which are situated close to the bottom of each stage as enemies are capable of firing back.

Within every board is a group of 55 enemies. This formation of foes contains exactly the same amount of opponents, which are grouped into four different categories. Shooting an enemy space vessel yields anywhere from 50 to 300 points, while octopus shaped opponents are always worth 30 points. Killing pointy eared enemies will give you 20 points, and destroying large headed aliens will give you 10 points.

Every level is exactly the same, with enemies descending more quickly as the game goes on. Players can only move left or right, but the four green structures directly above them can be used as shields. Unfortunately, the four structures are susceptible to enemy attacks and will eventually be destroyed as each level progresses.

Special Features

Although there will always be 55 opponents on the screen at the start of each level, you will occasionally have the chance to earn bonus points by defeating a randomly appearing enemy ship. This opponent can come from anywhere on the screen. While defeating the mystery enemy ship will help you to greatly increase your score, this enemy can also provide a dangerous distraction.

If you are easily able to shoot down the randomly appearing enemy ship, make your move quickly. If not, ignore it and continue to attack the other enemies.


Green Structures – Four large green structures that resemble buildings are present on each board. These structures give players temporary refuge from enemy fire.

Aliens – Arranged in five rows, there are four different types of enemies in Space Invaders. Defeat them all in order to go to the next round.

Player Ship – The player ship is armed with a gun and can move left and right.

How to Play Space Invaders

In Space Invaders, the objective is to stay alive and score as many points as you can. The levels are non-distinctive and they do not vary. However, the game does get harder because enemies move faster and utilize more sophisticated attack patterns. Note that all attacks come in waves, which are sometimes followed by or preceded by periods of inactivity.

Enemies will move in synch with one another, with some rows of opponents moving to the left while others move right. This movement works to confuse the eye and distract players. Additionally, enemies will start to move more quickly as you clear the screen. When only one enemy remains, it will be very difficult to eliminate it. Try to time your shot so that the alien runs into your gunfire rather than trying to hit it dead on.

After the last foe has been killed, the next wave will come up. Another 55 aliens will appear onscreen.

Remember that your shots will be limited. Until the bullet onscreen has hit an enemy or disappeared, players cannot fire again. This means that attacking descending opponents or foes that are closest to you will help you to complete levels faster.

Space Invaders ends once you have run out of lives.

Hints and Tips
- Try to take out your enemies column by column instead of clearing out rows. In other words, stay toward the outer areas of the screen, shooting the aliens closest to the bottom first. Then shoot the aliens directly above until a column has been completely eliminated.

- Being hit by enemy fire or aliens dead-on will cause you to lose a turn. However, the green structures can take multiple hits before being destroyed.

-Advanced players will intentionally shoot though the center of their protective green structures to give them increased opportunity to take out their enemy.

- Be extremely careful when you get to higher levels in Space Invaders. The green structures will be destroyed after only a few moments, leaving the player ship vulnerable. You will need to move continuously in order to avoid being hit, and your shots will need to be extremely precise.


We hope you enjoyed the video and the information shared on this classic arcade game.

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