Game: Space Invaders Invincible Collection
Genre: Arcade, Action
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer|Publisher: Taito | ININ Games
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: UK £54.99 | EU € 59,99 | USA $59.99
Release Date: August 17th, 2021
Review code provided with many thanks to PR Hound
Space Invaders still remains one of the all-time classic arcade games from Taito. The simple design of playing a small spaceship shooting down a huge amount of pixel aliens is one that still holds up all these years later. I have been lucky enough to dabble in various revisions of the space invaders formula from the GameBoy to the original Playstation and I have even been fortunate enough to try the original black and white 1978 arcade game. The one that apparently caused a 100 yen coin shortage in Japan.
This Space Invaders Invincible Collection collects together 11 Space Invaders games throughout the years. If you’re a retro fan of the game or just looking to try the series for the very first time this is a good collection to celebrate the series.
Simple and Fun
The Invincible Collection mostly focuses on the arcade revisions of Space Invaders. It’s nice to see that the collection features the original black and white 1978 original arcade game in all its glory. Sure, some gamers will look at this game today and possibly dismiss its simplicity, but I love game collections that feature the origins of a series. And you know what, this game still very much holds up today.
Shoot the aliens. While avoiding their incoming fire. Then as the masses of aliens dwindle to a few they speed up and drop down making the experience even tenser. This tension is made even more intense with the duh duh duh sounds increasing in intensity. Will you be able to shoot that last Invader, or will it take one of your precious lives? Some gaming experiences just don’t age.
The collection also features the colour version of the original, Space Invaders Part II and Space Invaders DX. All these games are basically the same Space Invaders game with minor tweaks DX being kinda fun as you can play a version of Space Invaders with other Taito game characters like New Zealend Story and Darius. From a casual player angle, this may be seen as unnecessary but if you’re a retro enthusiast you will very much appreciate all these revisions being included.
The Best Inclusions
Majestic Twelve: The Space Invaders Part IV and Space Invaders 91 are also essentially the same game, only the former lets you pick the next level you move onto. The latter though is easily my favourite game in the series as I played it at the arcades when I was younger.
These two games are colourful revisions of the Space Invaders formula with more detail on the sprites and backgrounds. The shooting is faster paced and the enemies move a lot faster and even differently at times. The game also features over the top difficult boss fights. You also get shield and weapon powerups by shooting the space saucer that occasionally moves across the sky.
The collection also features some lesser-known gems such as Lunar Rescue. A game programmed on the same board as Space Invaders but plays quite differently. Here you land your Lunar lander on a platform to rescue someone from the planet then you slowly fly up to the rescue ship shooting enemies and avoiding enemy fire. It’s a lot more fun than it sounds.
The collection also features Space Cyclone. Another game programmed on the same board except this has never seen a console release since the arcade days. This is a much more challenging version of the Space Invaders formula with fast-moving enemies. It’s not the brightest title in the collection but it was fascinating getting to experience this rare arcade relic. It’s titles like this that make the Invisible Collection quite appealing to the old school arcade fans without having to hunt down a very expensive arcade cabinet.
The collection features the Space Invaders Extreme, an excellent port of one of the more recent revisions of the game. Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE is a unique arcade game that is great to play with four people but not so much in a single player.
Lastly, Space Invaders vs Arkanoid comes as a separate download. An okay port of a popular mobile game. This title can only be played in handheld mode with touch controls. I covered these games in more detail in my Space Invaders Forever review. Together these games don’t make the best collection but with the extra eight arcade titles, it feels like a more worthy Space Invaders collection.
With the games featured on the collection, the developers have offered some extra options to expand your Space Invaders experience. When you select a game in the main menu you are given a small blurb of history on the game while a demo plays. It’s a shame more depth wasn’t given to this much like the developer videos featured in the Taito Legends Collection on PS2 and Xbox. Two collections I still own and adore. Feels like how DVDs no longer feature making-of featurettes anymore.
Most of the games also feature a challenge mode which adjusts focus on a particular mode or getting a high score within a time limit. For most of the arcade games you can adjust the screen settings to be larger or even flip the screen and play the game in TATE mode which is very nice to do in handheld mode. You can also adjust the game’s difficulty, the live count and other arcade settings. The game also offers multiple save state slots. So if you do need to put the alien shooting action down to check on your dinner or you just want to play another game in the collection you can save and return later.
The Other Collection
It’s worth mentioning I did review Space Invaders Forever, a title that collects only three of the games featured in this collection. The Invincible Collection was originally only available physically. But now the collection has made its way to the digital platform. It’s kind of a shame for the gamers that may have picked up Space Invaders Forever already as the Invincible Collection comes highly recommended with the extra games featured here.
Conclusion – A Fine Invasion
Space Invaders: Invincible Collection is a good collection that celebrates some of the best moments of the Space Invaders series. There are still omissions from the collection and it’s a shame more history and extra features were not added. The collection also comes in at quite a high price point which will likely turn many off at least until a sale.
However, if you need to be whisked away back to the simpler arcade days without spending all your 100 yen coins. This collection of classic games is sure to keep you busy for years to come. As a fan of the Space Invaders series, this is currently the best way to enjoy the series on modern systems.
Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot