Space Invaders Deluxe added to Phoenix Amusements Classic Arcade Line up!
One of the first shooting games, Space Invaders’ aim is to defeat waves of aliens with a laser cannon to earn as many points as possible. Phoenix Amusements announces Space Invaders as one of its Classic Video Game options! For those not in the know of this game’s story, here’s a little background history of this famous retro arcade game.
Space Invaders was created by Tomohiro Nishikado, who designed and programmed not only the game, the artwork, and the sounds, but even engineered all the game’s hardware himself. That means he had to put together a microcomputer from scratch in a time when personal computers were far from ubiquitous. It was released in 1978 by Taito in Japan and later by Bally of Midway in the United States.
Space Invaders ran on a custom platform based around an Intel 8080 processor, which was sophisticated and costly hardware for 1977. With only primitive (and mostly homemade) development tools available, Nishikado often remarks that, compared to creating the hardware, the rest of the game’s design was a piece of cake.
The designer originally planned to have players shoot down planes in his new, Breakout-esque combat game, but he wasn’t satisfied with his attempts at animating flight. He then briefly considered human soldiers as targets, but decided it would be immoral to fire at people. Nishikado then heard about the popularity of Star Wars in America — a film that would soon be released in Japan — and decided to give the game a space theme. For design inspiration, he turned to H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel The War of the Worlds, which featured octopus-like alien invaders. Soon he populated his game with flying monsters resembling sea life — including crabs, squid, and jellyfish — while letting the player control a moving laser base in a noble, last-ditch defense of the planet. A legend was born.
Space Invaders was the first Japanese video game to make a huge splash in the United States. Prior to Space Invaders, game designs from American companies like Atari, Midway, and Exidy ruled the U.S. arcade marketplace. With the Japanese arcade invasion came a new burst of international creativity that kept American game designers on their toes.
Space Invaders’ astronomical success put one firm foot in the door for Japanese videogame companies in the Western marketplace — a door later blasted permanently open by Nintendo in the mid-1980s with its NES console.
Considered the most influential video game of all time, Space Invaders caused a temporary shortage of 100-yen coins in Japan when introduced.
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