Horror Game Review: Space Invaders (1978, Tomohiro Nishikado)


Thanks to the Internet Archive, I played Space Invaders earlier today.

Yes, Space Invaders. This is the arcade game where an army of aliens are marching down the screen and you have to shoot them while not getting shot yourself. It’s the first game that a lot of people played. It’s a game that’s been frequently imitated and rebooted. This is the ultimate arcade video game and it took me just a few minutes of playing to discover why. The game may be simple but it’s also incredibly addictive. No sooner are you done celebrating getting rid of all of the aliens than another group of them show up and starting marching down the screen. Get rid of that second group and a third shows up. And then a fourth and a fifth. Each time a new wave starts, the invaders move a little more quickly and it becomes more of a challenge to get rid of them all. Not even destroying the big alien spaceship will keep the aliens from returning. They can be blown apart but they can never be defeated.

For that reason, Space Invaders is not only the first great arcade game but it’s also the first great horror games. It doesn’t matter how good you are or how many the space invaders you blow away. they’re going to keep coming until eventually, they get past your shields. There is no way to win the game. The only victory comes from never giving up and lasting longer than your friends. Do that and you’ll be champion even after the Earth has been conquered.

Play Space Invaders.

One response to “Horror Game Review: Space Invaders (1978, Tomohiro Nishikado)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 10/18/21 — 10/24/21 | Through the Shattered Lens

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