Advantages Classic Space Invaders style gameplay, catchy music, varied enemies keeps things interesting
Disadvantages Graphics barely qualify as 16 bit, difficulty will put some off, lacks a two player mode
Space Invaders is possibly the first video game I ever played. Although I cannot recall precisely what title introduced me to the hobby I love to this day, it must have been one of my dad’s Atari 2600 collection which included Taito’s timeless classic. The game’s premise is rather straight forward, you control a tank and have to shoot down the extraterrestrial conquerors before their craft makes landfall. Good old fashioned gameplay which is simple yet fiendishly addictive. After my fond memories of the original I couldn’t resist giving Space Invaders 91 on the Megadrive a go. Let’s see what I made of it. Oh by the way, in case you’re wondering the 91 on the title refers to the 1991 U.S release date… there aren’t actually ninety sequels to the first game.
The human race may have repelled the invaders back in the late seventies, but they just won’t give up. Alf’s annoying relatives return in their efforts to capture Earth for whatever reason. What is so great about our overpopulated and polluted world anyway? Perhaps they want to destroy us so we stop releasing those horrible Twilight movies. Thankfully for us improvements in technology have managed to beef up our defences. Instead of a crummy tank that explodes in one hit, for most of the levels you get to fly a spaceship equipped with shields. The protective barrier can absorb a number of alien blasts before giving out and using up one of the player’s valuable credits.Space Invaders 91’s core gameplay hasn’t changed much from the original. You move left and right firing at the invaders with the aim of stopping them from descending to the bottom of the play area. Each time you down an enemy UFO the movement speed of the remaining ones increase making them harder to hit. Things start off simple enough against rows of enemies which resemble the invaders from the first game. From the third level onwards however the creators spice things up by giving the player different types of enemy to defeat. You’ll encounter foes who take more than one shot to kill, others that shoot diagonally and some that fire off homing orbs which can be a pain to dodge. The variation in enemies keeps the action from getting stale and repetitive.
Whilst playing the game, aside from the hostile invaders, you should keep an eye out for mother ships which fly across the screen at random intervals.
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