Have You Played… Space Invaders?


Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Brp brp brp brp.

Brp-brp brp-brp.



The dauntless descent of these extraterrestrial hordes was impressive in 1978. And it’s still a good timewaster today. As for its alien foes, they probably deserve to conquer the planet. It’s not like we’ve done anything particularly good since the late seventies. Maybe the creation of the internet? No, absolutely nothing worthwhile. Luckily for the Invadophile, an updated version, Space Invaders Extreme, is out today on Steam. Would you like to see what Space Invaders is like today?

I lied! That’s not what it looks like today at all. That’s what it looks like 10 years ago on handheld consoles – the PSP and Nintendo DS – which is where this cacophonous imposter first appeared. But this is Space Invaders. It’s hard to keep track of a gaming icon that’s older than my own steadily putrefying human body, a game that has been bootlegged more times than a Game of Thrones episode. So let’s just all agree the original game is still the best and come to terms with the idea that this simple black screen and its white spaceships will be remembered long past the point you and I have been forgotten. History is interesting, isn’t it?


  1. DeepSleeper says:

    Space Invaders Extreme is pretty fantastic, though.

  2. HiroTheProtagonist says:

    Who knew that cover-based shooting predated the FPS by nearly 20 years? /s

    Extreme looks pretty cool, but at the same time it also feels like it’s trying too hard to maintain its relevance when the concept has been done many times better by other games in the last 30 years. Space Invaders has earned its place in the pantheon of video game greats, trotting it back out with more bells and whistles just feels like a waste of time.

  3. rodan32 says:

    Does TI Invaders count? My parents always had to have the “other” thing, so I had a TI-99/4a rather than an Atari 2600 (followed by a Sega Master System).

  4. Ghostwise says:

    I did play it on Atari 2600s back in the ’70s, yes. I was rubbish at shooting the last alien from a given wave, because it’d go way too fast.

    I carry this important life lesson in me heart ever since then.

    • SteveM74 says:

      Fun fact, which I may or may not have made up or misremembered and may not have been true in the first place:

      The speeding up of the invaders was originally an unintended side-effect of the reduced strain on the hardware of having fewer aliens to draw.

      • MajorLag says:

        I don’t believe you are misremembering as I remember the same anecdote. It is possible we are suffering from Mandela Effect though.

  5. pookie101 says:

    Clearly a mere clone of the the original awesome game Zeta Invaders!

  6. April March says:

    Better than the PS2 era game. Probably. I never played it.

  7. chrisol says:

    Black and white ?… I remember a pub where they had space invaders IN COLOUR !

    Well, kindof. It was achieved by having coloured cellophane over the screen at the top and bottom.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      I think all of the physical cabinets were like that. It gets remembers as pure B&W because most people played it most recently on MAME, and MAME doesn’t do the tinted overlay by default.

  8. Gotem says:

    I’ve been getting my space invaders fix with the game ‘Titan Attacks’

  9. fco says:

    Played it? it was actually the first videogame I ever played, on my uncle’s Atari 600XL. And I always preferred that version, the one without the covers and with that looming building/mothership. It was so scary to watch it lower just a bit after every level

  10. melerski says:

    Yeah I played it. And I made a mash-up of space invaders and brick-breaker in my game Optical Ball. It’s the hardest level in the game. link to youtube.com