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Space Invaders review (iPod/iPhone)

April 6, 2012

“This thing called love, I just can’t handle it”

10 word description: Use your cannon to defend Earth from waves of invaders. (Copied from app store description).

Who checked the graphical emulation here? I think they need an eye test

10 word review: Less than perfect presentation. For nostalgic oldies only (e.g me).

You will like this if you enjoy: Space Invaders. (Sometimes this job is way too easy).

This trick still works, although it was only really worth doing in Part II

The good news: It’s the original game, without any embellishments. The control method with the on-screen buttons, not the joystick, is perfectly adequate. There are some options to change the appearance, although only to variations that were applicable to the original game. The “old tricks” still work.

I get the feeling they started calling this "Nagoya" in an attempt to make it seem like a deliberate design decision and not a coding bug

The bad news: Unless you already love this game, this is going to feel like 3 quid wasted on a tedious, clunky embarrassment. The huge, unsightly “PAUSE” (top right, but you can’t miss it) is horrendous and should be removed and replaced with a tiny icon or, better still, an invisible button that you are told about the first time you play the game. If relative touch (left side) and invisible fire button (right side) were implemented, we could at least have the game full screen instead of the way it is. The graphics are actually shit, and I don’t mean the original ones – have a look at the top row of invaders in any screenshot and the text in the score line – they’re awful. There’s no two player mode, not even a pass-and-play / alternate turns mode which surely would have been incredibly easy to include as it’s part of the original game.

That was a 300 point ship, just bad screenshot timing

Arcadelife verdict: Taito could have put out a perfect version of Space Invaders, maybe even bundled in Space Invaders Part II and Lunar Rescue and given nostalgic gamers something worth getting excited about, but they haven’t. While the gameplay, including the shot counting and Wall of Death (they call it Nagoya), is true to the original, the graphics are just bad and the overall presentation is far from professional. A universal app would also have been nice, instead of a pair of 3 quid games; I’ve only heard bad things about the HD iPad version, so I avoided that altogether. This version at 2x is playable on iPad, although it still looks just as bad. I can’t see why it’s so difficult to get crisp, clear Space Invaders graphics on the iOS devices; this game looks like it’s being emulated through the bottom of an old beer bottle rather than through rose-tinted spectacles. Unless you’re desperate for a legitimate, paid-for version of original Space Invaders on your iPhone, I’d suggest giving this a miss as it will probably disappoint you.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 4/10
Audio – 8/10
Controls – 7.5/10
Content – 9/10
Fun – 8/10
Final rating – 60/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.7
iTunes link

Taito Space Invaders website link [English]

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 5.0.1)
iPad (OS 5.0.1) – Yes, I know it isn’t a universal app
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