Space Invaders

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Platform joystick
Bally Astrocade
Game Type type
Max Players players

To say that Space Invaders was one of the most successful arcade games ever released would be an understatement. The game was so popular that it actually caused coin shortages in Japan! The unprecedented success of the arcade game made it an ideal killer app for the Atari 2600 in 1978, and it only makes sense that Bally would want a version of their own. An unlicensed version of Space Invaders was released on Bally’s console in 1979, but the game was quickly renamed Astro Battle. It was a blatant clone regardless of what the title screen said. The entire game consists of shooting down alien spaceships and periodically seeking cover behind large barns. Astro Battle on the Astrocade doesn’t feature quite as many gameplay modes as Space Invaders on the 2600, but it does a great job of capturing the spirit of the arcade game it was based on. The aliens are alive with color, the game is fast, and controls are responsive. The biggest downside is how abruptly the game ends. After finishing off the sixth wave of fighters, the game ends suddenly and immediately resets to the menu screen. This is annoying if you want to play the game for more than a few minutes at a time. Astro Battle didn’t exactly make the same splash as Space Invaders did on the Atari 2600, but no console from the era would have been complete without their own take on the classic arcade game.

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