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Space Invaders
(Future Software)

"The mother of all invasion games comes raining down again"

In the good old Atari days, it was very hard to look in a souvenir store without an arcade machine of Galaga, Galaxian, or Asteroids. All of these were great space shooters in their own right, but none ever really mimicked the pressure feel of the ever-popular classic, Space Invaders.

Future Software introduces a modern take on the Space Invaders game. Shoot down alien swarms before they close in on you and your defenses. Conserve your energy and aim for the high score in three challenge levels, and get ready for some old-school arcade action!

Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
Simple but eloquent. Future Software's take on Space Invaders may take place on a black backdrop, but this backdrop comes with original graphics and art design. There are plenty of enemy sprites to keep the game looking fresh (as long as you keep getting through each of the game's levels), and all the action takes place on high resolution with pixel by pixel smoothness and without flicker. The original artwork really helps to give this Space Invaders clone a sense of individuality.
Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
Space Invader's sound effects remind me of the war-time sound effects from games like Apogee's Raptor or the QB game Shell Shock. Instead of arcade blips and bleeps, gamers are treated to an onslaught of voluminous explosion sounds that make shooting down enemy ships sound more like a fragging parade. I'm guessing the sound effects aren't original, but in any event the laser fire sounds and other knick-knacks really add to the game.
Gameplay (n.)The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe v
Usually, having two control supports for your game (in this case keyboard and mouse) guarantees a pretty high Gameplay score. But we're talking about a Space Invaders clone, and the fundamental rules of a Space Invaders game make it difficult to have much variation in gameplay.

The object of the QB Space Invaders game is to shoot down an organized wave of alien ships before they can shoot you down. To give the game a little more pressure, the alien ships gradually descend upon you, becoming a little faster and a lot more trigger-happy.

In QB Space Invaders, the rain of bullets seem to come down randomly, so to even this out Future Software included a life bar which varies in lives depending on the Challenge level you choose for your game. In addition to this, the bunkers which the original Space Invaders was famous for is included in this game. These bunkers give you a temporary place to hide from enemy fire while you can set up a new plan of attack to bring down the remaining aliens.

One plus in Future's Space Invaders is that the gameplay is endless. Once you destroy all the alien ships, a new set of alien ships will come down from the sky and the procedure starts all over again. You can always play this game until you're tired. Yet, the endlessness can be a sort of minus too, since fighting these aliens might get a little monotonous once you reach Wave Twelve or so.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
(Very Poor) It's very difficult to earn story points for an Arcade Game port, and Future Software doesn't try covering up their Space Invaders game with a clever plotline. There's not even a smidget in the text file or within the game.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
To programmers, this Space Invaders game is a godsend because of it's mouse support. The mixture of high resolution graphics, the ease of mouse control, and the simplicity of Space Invaders makes this game in particular a great "break" game between coding sessions and playing more difficult QB games.

Speaking of which, QB gamers will also have a use for Space Invaders. The game doesn't have any annoyance factor, and as with any Space Invaders clone there's always room for the player to improve. Fans of the Atari Space Invaders will be a little wary though, as the graphics in this QB game are not taken from the original.

Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
I don't really think the enemies in QB Invade are out to kill you, but they do randomly fire plenty of shots to make sure that you don't beat your high score. To make sure they don't ruin your chances of improving, keep in mind two basic tactics. First of all, the bunkers are your friend. Defend these bunkers as much as you protect yourself, since they are such a great place to camp from enemy fire. Second, make sure you wipe out the last column of invaders in each wave as quickly as possible, since this last group of invaders will instinctively spit out a flurry of bullets in a final attempt to ruin you and your bunkers.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
Comparisons are never easy to make, but comparing this Space Invaders game to QB Invade (another QB Space Invaders clone) is inevitable. That being said, neither Space Invaders nor QB Invade attempted to be "perfect" clones of the Atari Space Invaders by taking graphics or sound effects from the original. New graphics and sounds were implemented into both of these QB shooters for maximum effect, and personally I wouldn't have it any other way.

With this in mind the higher score between these two games will have to go on the game with the greatest level of creativity. In this case, the more recent take on Space Invaders from Future Software turns out being the better game. There's a little more strategy involved in Future's Space Invaders than in QB Space Invaders games past, since the waves are endless and the number of bullet shots always seem to increase. The mouse allows for pin-point accuracy, making wave-clearing a cinch in a sniper's hands. But perhaps the more important part is making sure that the feel of the original Space Invaders is captured; to this end, Future Software's version of Space Invaders is just a little closer than Tim Truman's contribution a few years ago. 

Players 1 player Genre: Arcade/Shooter Game
Rating To solve: N/A Final Rating: 13/35

To download this game, click here.
Installation Tips
wIf you're unzipping this program in DOS, use the -d option.
wTo hear sound effects, you must use a 100% Sound Blaster Card or Compatible. Space Invaders is not compatible with Ensoniq Cards or synthesizers.
wTo play Space Invaders, unzip the file and run "INVADER.EXE".

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