Space Invaders Extreme

I know what you’re thinking – re-releasing Space Invaders on the DS is about as worthwhile as stabbing yourself in the eye with a ballpoint pen. There has already been a retro revamp of Space Invaders on the DS in the form of 2005’s Space Invaders Revolution, which was an utter balls up. And who in their right mind would want to pay twenty quid for one of the first videogames ever with a few shiny bells on?

But wait…this is Square-Enix does Space Invaders. So far Square-Enix is the only company not called Nintendo that has been able to make the DS purr like a contented kitty. The presentation is super slick for starters, with smooth looping FMV backdrops and a suitably pumping musical score that matches the frantic pace of the game.

The iconic fellows now come in different forms. Some split into two while others explode when shot, taking out nearby invaders in the process. Then there are invaders with shields, giant boss space invaders and dinky little ones. They’re all colour coded too, and for a reason – bonuses are dished out for shooting several invaders of the same colour in a row, or for wiping out a whole wave without wasting a single bullet. To this extent, there’s a startling resemblance to Lumines.

Rather than messing around with touch screen controls things have been kept simple, and all the better for it. There are power-ups too, including explosive shots and giant lasers that can eliminate a whole wave of invaders with just one blast. With Rez-like hypnotic beats and all the addictive qualities of a good puzzler, this is one cartridge that you’ll want to keep alongside your DS for some time to come.

Happy 30th birthday, Space Invaders!

Matt Gander

Matt is Games Asylum's most prolific writer, having produced a non-stop stream of articles since 2001. A retro collector and bargain hunter, his knowledge has been found in the pages of tree-based publication Retro Gamer.

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