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Space Invaders (Atari 2600, 1980)

Run Jump Shoot #11 - Space Invaders  (Atari 2600, 1980)

By Nathan Meunier

August 20, 2008 - Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. From the second you turn it on, you are doomed to fail at Space Invaders. There's no winning involved; it's just a matter of attempting to forestall the inevitable for as long as possible. Why play it all? It's human nature. Tell someone they can't do something, and watch how hard they'll try to find a way to do it anyway.

As wave after wave of pixel aliens march to and fro across the screen and slowly encroach on your fortified bunkers, they mock you by doing a little dance. It's simultaneously amusing and menacing. The more you blast them, the faster the move, and the last little critter always does a high-speed kamikaze dash at your base. Sneaky players could bore small tunnels in their own barriers to fire off shots with a greater degree of safety.

Run Jump Shoot #11 - Space Invaders  (Atari 2600, 1980)

Dodging the random laser fire raining down on you can get a bit taxing, especially when the alien parade gets too close for comfort. I really feel for the poor bastards probably stuck at the helm of that little green laser cannon day in and day out. What a grind!

In each of the first three waves, the alien horde begins their descent slightly closer to your base. By the fourth round you have no bunkers at all, and you're expected to blast the things off your infernal doorstep. By the fifth round they're so close you should be able to smell their nasty alien breath. Every round after that is just a repeat of the fifth wave, until you're eventually crushed into space dust.

Space Invaders, in its many forms, may be one of the most instantly recognizable classic games, but it has the power to break a man's spirit.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor / Pixel Artist

Space Invaders  (Atari 2600, 1980) Screenshot

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