Sunday, August 1, 2010

Game of the Week: Space Invaders

Space Invaders might be the most popular video game of all time, with the possible exception of Pac-Man. Even the Guinness Worlds Records have dubbed Space Invaders the top arcade game of all time. And if you were around when the arcades where just hitting big in the late 1970s, you can remember seeing a Space Invaders game just about everywhere you went.

By no means was Space Invaders the first video game or even the first arcade game, but it was the first arcade game that practically created the whole arcade fade of the 1980s. The game of Pong had been somewhat of a hit, and it had been available in some arcades and at bars and other places, but it couldn't touch the popularity of Space Invaders.

Space Invaders has proved so popular of the years, it has been ported to thousands of different home video game systems, computers, handheld devices, keychain games and more. There have even been several sequel games to Space Invaders, including other arcade games.

And why shouldn't Space Invaders be popular even today? It's a simple game, but the gameplay is addictive. You just guide your space cannon along the bottom of the screen while shooting at alien invaders in the sky above. A handful of shields are between you and the invaders to protect you (and sometimes to protect the invaders!), but these can eventually be blown away by your or the enemy's missiles. Every once in a while an enemy UFO flies by at the top of the screen and is worth bonus points.

Sounds simple, by today's standards for video games, and it was. It was also a lot of fun.

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