Space Invaders Extreme review for PC

Platform: PC
Also On: Xbox 360, PSP,  NDS
Publisher: Degica / Taito
Developer: Taito
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Space Invaders is something that anyone who has ever played a video game knows by name. It defines the word “classic” in every way and to this day remains one of my top 10 favorite games of all time. There have been many incarnations of it, on many systems, computers and even mobile phones. It’s concept is super easy to grasp and hard to put down. Now, Taito, the original creators of Space Invaders has returned with Space Invaders Extreme. Did they capture lightning in a bottle again? Find out below.

The original Space Invaders consisted of a player controlled ship at the bottom of the screen, protected by 3 barriers. A wall of constantly descending aliens is closing in on you, and you have to reduce their numbers and stop their decent. As you take them out, the remaining aliens decent faster, eventually leaving one alien left, who will go insanely fast and be hard to hit. If you do manage to hit the last one, the sequence begins again with more aliens. Occasionally, a UFO will fly across the top of the screen that can be hit for some bonus points. The entire concept is simple, yet challenging and those who have played it can tell you why it’s just so fun. For Extreme, Taito has taken this concept and turned up the crazy to 11, at the same time maintaining the original fun factor.

Arcade Mode is where you will be spending most of your time, it’s here that you will be blasting these iconic alien designs with some psychedelic backgrounds and groovy music. As you take them out, you actually change the music and add beats, while effecting the background. You may find yourself bopping around as you play, making some neat tunes and cool animations. This version for Steam features new tracks to listen to and change as you blast away aliens, and they all sound great. The action can get fast and funky as you blast through round after round of aliens. The number of invaders and their patterns change between each round making hitting them a little harder with each battle. Sometimes, they may even wear shields or reflectors that shoot your beams back at you. Fortunately, some of the invaders will drop new weapons you can use for a limited time that make short work of an entire group quickly, giving you massive bonus points in the process. Speaking of Bonuses, the UFOs are back in Extreme, and they serve more of a purpose than just points. Some drop more aliens to fight, while others will trigger Bonus Stages and other neat surprises when destroyed.

Added to this funky mix are boss battles. It’s here you face one large alien, with a certain weak spot. Attacking this spot will cause damage, but getting to it may be tough. Some bosses have their weak spot surrounded by destructible areas on their body, or may move the weak spot to a random area, making getting to it again a bit of a chore. These battles, however, are never unfair and are a blast to play. Beating these bosses completes the area and takes you to the next. Completing an area unlocks it in Free Play Mode, so you can play it anytime you wish.

There isn’t much else to say about Space Invaders Extreme, except playing it is a whole lot of simple fun, and will trigger your nostalgia greatly. It takes a formula that worked in the 1980s and added just enough spice to give today’s gamers a thrill. At $19.99, it may be a little expensive to some who have never heard of the series (or played it on previous last gen platforms). If you haven’t, I highly recommend playing the original game, then once you are accustomed, jump into Extreme with both feet and have a blast. For those who love the series already, this is a no brainer. Space Invaders Extreme is a must own for your Steam library!

Note: Degica provided us with a Space Invaders Extreme PC/Steam code for review purposes.

Grade: A