One of Gaming's Classics
Space Invaders is an all-time classic of video gaming. Its addictive gameplay and distinctive music and sound have carried it beyond the arcade to releases on most major game platforms and web browsers. This has reportedly generated $2 billion since the game first appeared in the arcade in 1978.
The game has no real story to speak of. You find yourself as the unnamed pilot of a space fighter who must shoot down hordes of advancing invaders that move side-to-side and ever farther down the screen from their start at the top. Your fighter is in a fixed position at the bottom of the screen and needs only move left and right while you press another button to shoot. A few barricades can stand in the way of your shots as the aliens proceed along their path. As you kill the enemies, and they get closer, they begin to move faster and the tempo of the music increases to match, heightening the sense of player tension, a major milestone in game sound design.
Space Invaders’ place in history can be seen in its gameplay’s contribution to the ship based shoot-em-up genre that became popular in the arcades starting in the 1980s. The familiar gameplay and sounds can be seen referenced in all manner of popular culture, including TV shows like Futurama. The aliens themselves are a widespread popular image and to even the non-hobbyist public are symbolic of the old days of arcade gaming. Anyone with interest in games owes it to themselves to play this classic title and see the origin of much of what they played which came after it.