JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO BUY ANOTHER COMPUTER GAME, THE ORIGINAL CRITTERS FROM OUTER SPACE ARE BACK! SPACE INVADERS IS HERE AGAIN TO DRIVE YOU NUTS AND DESTROY EVERY JOYSTICK IN SIGHT. NICK ROBERTS GETS OUT HIS BEST TRIGGER FINGER AND SHOWS THEM WHAT HE'S MADE OF...
What's the greatest shoot-‘em-up of all time? Forget glittery graphics and atmospheric sound effects, Space Invaders is the original and best. I mean, what could be more entertaining (and satisfying) than blowing up wave after wave of the same alien, only for the little b'stards to reform and come at you again!
Back in the mists of time (we're talking pre-ZX81 here!), a Mr Toshihiro Nishikado had a yen (geddit?) to create a game to blast everything else into obscurity. The first person to use the microprocessor to give enemies intelligence, he came up with Space Monster, later renamed Space Invaders, a smash hit across the globe.
And now, 13 years later, the game's resurfaced with a few 'Super' add-ons.
PICK UP A POWER-UP!
With basic gameplay well over a decade old, the programmers had to improve on the original concept. They've added detailed backdrops for the aliens to move around on, stacks of weaponry and strange, constantly changing Invader formations.
The extra weapons are essential to wipe out the waves of speedy aliens. Pick up the icons which fall when a certain alien is hit to get a 'Fire Flower', 'Destroy Beam', 'Hyper Laser' or 'Buster Beam'. Some last for only a few seconds so put your skates on!
Every few levels you get a bonus Cattle Mutilation round! Nasty alien types want to cownap your herd and take them to the big steak house in the sky. You can't be killed in the bonus level but can earn lots of bonus points by zapping aliens and saving cows.
FORM A QUEUE!
Technically there's nothing at all wrong with Super Space Invaders. The aliens thoughtfully move around the screen for you to wipe out with your laser gun. Simple. The problem is everyone got bored with the idea a long time ago (everyone in our office, anyway). Gameplay could've been speedier, too.
If you feel you can stay awake long enough, you may find Super Space Invaders quite playable but I can't see any lasting appeal.
NICK ... 64%
'Here's a real blast from the past! I remember when the first Space Invaders machine appeared in my local arcade, now Domark bring Super Space Invaders, basically the original program with a few extra bells and whistles. Don't get me wrong, I’m not denouncing the game. I enjoyed the nostalgia of frantically wrenching the joystick around, valiantly trying to avoid bullets. One thing lacking from this version are the barriers cowardly players (like me) hide behind. Instead there are shields that deplete as the xenophobic alien hordes hurl myriad bullets at your bonce. For my money, half the fun of the original game was the angst felt as the barriers slowly dissolved under enemy fire. Super Space Invaders looks good: the sprites are neatly drawn and the backdrops picturesque. In short, even though Invaders is as old as the proverbial hills, it's still darn playable.'
MARK ... 79%
A cleverly updated version of an arcade classic but not quite up to Nineties' standards.
Arrgh! Attack of the little purple flying things.
More shoot-'em-up action with those little aliens from Mars.
Blue moon, you saw me standing alone. La, la de-daaa!