SPACE INVADERS

Space Invaders was released circa June 1978 by Midway. The game was developed by Taito. Space Invaders is a 2D action shooter.

It was originally manufactured and sold by Taito in Japan, and was later licensed for production in the United States by the Midway division of Bally.

Space Invaders became such a blockbuster that it earned more money than many major motion pictures.

Space Invaders is one of the earliest shooting games and the aim is to defeat waves of aliens with a laser cannon to earn as many points as possible.

The player has to defeat five rows of eleven aliens—some versions feature different numbers—that move horizontally back and forth across the screen as they advance towards the bottom of the screen.

The player defeats an alien, and earns points, by shooting it with the laser cannon. As more aliens are defeated, the aliens’ movement and the game’s music both speed up. Defeating the aliens brings another wave that is more difficult, a loop which can continue without end.

The aliens attempt to destroy the cannon by firing at it while they approach the bottom of the screen. If they reach the bottom, the alien invasion is successful and the game ends. If a column of aliens are removed the back and forth action slows as it takes more time to reach the edge. The leads to the strategy of shooting the edge of the swarm more than the lower levels back and forth. A special “mystery ship” will occasionally move across the top of the screen and award bonus points if destroyed.

The machine uses an 8080 processor. The machine uses custom logic for the graphics. The display is monochrome 224×256. The sound is provided with the Texas Instruments SN76477. The game uses a gel strip to give the game canon some color.

Taito sold more then 300,000 of these machines for between $2000 and $3000 and in the US Midway sold over 60,000 machines. This game was so popular that many of these remain in arcades for more than a decade after they were introduced.