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 PLAYSTATION VITA FEATURE

40 years of Space Invaders - 4 ways to blast aliens on the go

Left, right, shoot
Product: Arkanoid vs Space Invaders | Publisher: Square Enix | Format: Android, DS, iPhone, PSP, iPad, 3DS, PS Vita
 
Space Invaders, one of the most seminal video games of all time, turns 40 this year.

Taito's 1978 arcade smash hit would come to define video games for a generation, its rows of descending aliens becoming inextricably linked to the medium.

Space Invaders would also go on to birth an entire genre of shoot-'em-ups right, the result of which can still be seen today - most obviously in the form of vertically scrolling bullet hell shmups.

While Space Invaders has its history in bulky arcade cabinets, however, it has made the transition to portable machines surprisingly well, with several interesting twists.

They're not all readily available, but here are four ways to play Taito's shooter while you're out and about.

Space Invaders Infinity Gene
Format: iOS, Android



Sadly, you can't play Space Invaders Infinity Gene on iOS anymore thanks to the great 32-bit app cull. Android gamers still can though.

What a shooter they have on their hands. One of the early smartphone game classics, Space Invaders Infinity Gene expertly deconstructs the Space Invaders formula and rebuilds it before your eyes, bit by bit.

The end result is an evolved form of the original, with a beautiful retro aesthetic, custom-built touchscreen controls, and an awesom electronica soundtrack.

Space Invaders Extreme
Format: PSP, Nintendo DS, PS Vita



Space Invaders Infinity Gene wasn't the first successful reimagining of the Space Invaders franchise on portable devices. Space Invaders Extreme was launched to commemorate the 30 year anniversary of Space Invaders some 10 years ago.

Space Invaders Extreme retains the core components of the original - move left and right, shoot waves of aliens - but amps things up for a modern audience.

Aliens break formation, fire diagonally, and split into separate components. Your craft, too, has a range of screen-blitzing power-ups to call upon, and modern touches like an interactive soundtrack and a full combo scoring system add to the appeal.

Vita owners can still download this digitally, and of course the original DS cartridge (and its fine 2009 sequel) will work on 3DS, if you can find it.

Arkanoid vs Space Invaders
Format: iOS, Android



One of the more recent entries to the series, Arkanoid vs Space Invaders mashes Taito's shooter together with its subsequent bat-and-ball classic Arkanoid.

It makes perfect sense as soon as you boot it up. Waves of aliens are attacking, just like in Space Invaders, but you control an Arkanoid-like paddle and must bat their laser fire back at them.

Destructive power-ups add to the mayhem in this highly playable team-up.

Space Invaders
Format: iOS, Android



All this evolving and splicing is all well and good, but what about if you simply want to play a faithful version of the original arcade game on the go?

Taito has you covered with this iOS and Android version of Space Invaders. It's got precious few bells and whistles, except for the choice of three control systems and a bunch of screen modes - both of which essentially let you select your own level of retro faithfulness.

The game also includes bonus rare material from the original game's development, hammering home the nostalgic theme.

If you want more bullet-to-alien action, check out our top 25 iOS shooters list

 

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 24 January 2018
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