Thursday, December 15, 2016

Super Space Invaders


How could you ever consider improving the all-time arcade classic Space Invaders? Well, you might try supersizing it which is exactly what Domark with the imaginatively titled Super Space Invaders which is a conversion albeit with an alternative array of next-gen invaders to quench our two-dimensional alien zapping thirst.

From the start, we're treated to a superb intro which you should watch. When the game begins, each stage is presented in groups, similar to Blasteroids offering a different path through to victory. Each attacking wave starts off slow and will gradually speed up with each kill but now these invaders appear as a wide variety of targets for our gun love - some will bloat after being shot, thus requiring extra effort for the kill. Don't expect the same attack formations, this time the aliens will use various methods with some breaking away - Galaxian style!

An easily-targeted mothership frequently passes by and, if destroyed, drops a handy power-up in true Arkanoid fashion. I love the laser which slices through the alien hoard like a hot knife through butter but I must admit to taking a predictable liking to the rapid-fire power-up. If Space Invaders ever had a flaw then it's gotta be repetition, but Super Space Invaders attempts to break that by introducing bonus rounds - flying saucers will invading the rural countryside abducting cattle, of all things. Finally, groovy end of level bosses are on guard and in urgent need of a good hiding - I am especially impressed by the boss after level three which I thought was beautifully animated.

  

Throughout, the graphics are generally excellent with nicely detailed invaders and I especially liked the huge insects and End Of Level bosses - brilliant examples of cool pixel art. Audio is great, from that incredible intro video to the game itself. However, I was a little disappointed not to hear the famous cannon sound effect... Musically, very interesting because I was immediately reminded me of Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters.

I think purists will probably turn up their nose in disgust at this abomination of stolen ideas. However, it is a great game in its own right and the use of power-ups transports what might have been a predictable clone into a freakishly fun game. Far more addictive than I first imagined and I love the game so much I bought myself a copy!

LINKS

 - 8BitChip have a hard drive installable download with floppies found via Old Games Finder.
 - I stumbled upon this interesting thread on Atari-Forum about a long-lost hack (credit: dlfrsilver)

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