Space Invaders Early Review: 27,000 Hours In So Far, Here’s What We Think

Well guys, I tried. Three solid years of playing this game and I officially give up. I wanted to give a fair, complete, comprehensive review, but it seems there’s no end in sight. I will update this page if that changes, but for now, I will just be giving my first impressions. Before I begin, I want you all to know that when I say I tried, I really mean it. The only time I spent over the past three years not playing Space Invaders was the time I spent writing this review- a slow, tortuous period thanks to the crippling arthritis from which I now suffer.


Sorry. Post Traumatic Space Disorder.

On to the review. Heralded as one of the catalysts for the golden age of video games, Space Invaders is a simple game about destroying foreign invaders before they can tear down your walls. As timeless a concept in Trump’s America as it was back in Berlin circa 1978. You are a tiny moving gun turret, Earth’s first and only defence and one of the video game industries earliest and most memorable mascots. You face weird little squiggly alien things who mock your very existence by sauntering from left to right across the screen, getting lower and lower until the human race is destroyed. Let there be no mistake – their goal is genocide. There is only one way to stop them – Genocide.

You can move left and right, take cover, and shoot. Your ammo is limitless, much like the horde of aliens you face, but you can only have one bullet on screen at a time. This makes picking your moments the key to victory, as a single missed shot is precious time wasted, and precious space invaded. However, should you chance a shot at the back lines, you will be rewarded handsomely for scoring a hit. The enemies at the higher end of the screen reward more points, with the occasional appearance of the special spaceship zipping across the top of the screen scoring you the mega bucks if you land the kill. The aliens themselves are capable of firing their own projectiles, wearing down your barriers, deflecting shots and destroying any player foolish enough to be hit.

The soundtrack is a nice touch. A single, repeating, ominous note that speeds up the closer the zerglings get to the bottom of the screen. If you suffer from anxiety, or are on anti-psychotic medication, I would advise you to stay away from the frontlines on this one. The sound is the alien drumbeat of war, and I hear it in my dreams.

I have destroyed all the aliens on screen, and yet more appear seconds later. Their ardour is endless, their lust for blood, insatiable. What do they want with our planet? Resources? Labour? Is it simply the thrill of dominating a lesser species? I may never find out. But as long as there is breath in my body and cartilage in my joints, I will never give up the fight. But as it stands, I simply do not feel comfortable assigning a score to an unfinished story. If the final stage turns out to be a visual novel, I’ll let you all know. I will one day finish this review and give it the score out of 10 the planet deserves. Fellow citizens of Earth, this Space… remains un-invaded.


This article was inspired by a writing prompt from Brian Crecente because I am wasting my life.