Space Armada is a Space Invaders
clone developed by APh Technological Consulting
and released in 1981 for the Intellivision
. Much like its influence, Space Armada features an upward-firing gun at the bottom of the screen, protective bunkers, and rows of enemies to shoot down. The reason such a blatant copy was created without legal complications is due to poor copyright protection for Space Invaders, which allowed any developer to make a game almost exactly like Space Invaders so long as it used a different name.
Space Armada does have a few unique features compared to the original Space Invaders. Bunkers will not repair themselves between rounds, and enemies may turn invisible or drop explosive or homing projectiles in later rounds. The player can also elect to retry a failed round through a special practice mode.
According to Intellivision Productions, Space Armada was the first Intellivision game to animate more than eight sprites through a technique called GRAM sequencing.
The player has the choice of game or practice when starting a new game. If practice is chosen, the player will start at the last round of the previous game with full bunkers and lives, with enemies moving slightly slower than before. If a game has not yet been played, practice mode will start with round one.
The game starts the player off with three protective bunkers and six lives. Each round begins with a wave of thirty-two target enemies, positioned in eight columns by four rows that slowly zig-zag towards the bottom of the screen. As enemies are shot, much like Space Invaders, the remaining ships will begin to speed up. Once all the ships in a round are destroyed, the game pauses briefly to display the score and lives remaining, and a new round begins.
In addition to the basic targets, a red UFO will occasionally fly across the top of the screen. Shooting the UFO scores a random number of points, and also causes the most damaged bunker to completely regenerate.
As rounds progress, enemies will increase speed and the rate they fire weapons. Explosive bombs with a blast radius may also be dropped, along with missiles that will home in on the player's gun. Enemies may also appear invisible at random in later rounds, sometimes reappearing as they close in on the bottom of the screen.
When all lives have been expended or a target reaches the bottom of the screen, the game is over.
There are two ways to score points in Space Armada. Shooting a target
scores ten times the round number in points; for example, 10 points per target in round one, 20 points in round two, and so on. Shooting the UFO
scores a random amount of points -- either one to thirty-two times the points for shooting a normal target.