It’s time to celebrate another game anniversary, as Taito appears to have taken a page from all of the celebrations surrounding Pac-Man’s 40th, and come up with their own ways to celebrate the game that made the company a force to be reckoned with. Space Invaders did celebrate 40 years back in 2018, but this year they are bringing more SI fun to the table with themed products that you can pick up in Japan.
For us to celebrate, let’s do a post like we did for Pac-Man, and take a stroll down memory lane to highlight the various arcade releases of the game over the years. Starting with the original, which was released on June 16th, 1978:
Space Invaders was the brainchild of Tomohiro Nishikado, who was influenced by some different games such as Breakout, along with a weird dream about school children waiting for Santa Claus being attacked by alien invaders. It was also released at a time when pop culture was dominated with space fever – many kids had grown up watching moon landings, then exciting things like Star Wars and Star Trek threw space imaginations into overdrive.
While the game wasn’t the first “quarter-cruncher” that arcades had seen, it certainly marked a turning point in where video games were headed, thanks to some innovative design choices that really stood out from other games of the era. It is definitely the grandfather of the “shoot ’em up” genre. It’s also a cool cabinet to look at, using a mirror trick to project the game imagery against a moon/sky backdrop.
Contrary to popular myth, the game was not responsible for a yen shortage in Japan (this is something that most arcade history database pages are still perpetrating). However, it’s influence did bring players to the arcade in droves and resulted in a flood