Commodore User1st October 1987
Published in Commodore User #50
I remember when I were a lad - at t'Polytechnic - t'were greet playing 'ont Space Invaders machine int' Students' Union bar. Aye, lad, them were the days. 10p it cost yer - you could buy pint, veggie currie from Poly buttery - 'ave three goes ont' Invaders and still 'ave change out of a quid. Naye, lad, they don't make games like that these days - all them flash sit-down jobs that shake yer beer around inside yer and touch yer for a quid a go [Hello, is that the Ed? Can you please stop trying to write in a Yorkshire accent, you're hopeless at it - Very angry CU reader in Sheffield]
OK, OK, I'll stop, but I won't stop oing on about how marvellous Invaders seemed when it first came out. It was the first sci-fi computer game and immediately hooked millions of players. You could play it almost everywhere - coffee bars, railway stations, pubs - the papers even carried stories about people installing them in their front rooms. That was ten years ago. Since then, a revolution has taken place in computer entertainment and comparing Invaders to After Burner and Out Run is like comparing a Vic-20 to an Amiga.
So what's the game about - don't tell me you're too young?! - well, OK, sprogettes, I'll explain it to you. There are these rows and rows of aliens edging down-screen towards your gun turret. You have to move right and left and shoot 'em before they invade your base. The action speeds up as you wipe wave after wave of aliens and it all happens to the accompaniment of a trudging, rhythmic heart beat-style pounding noise.
Every so often a larger ship bleeps across the top of the screen. This is the one you've really got to get if you want to earn mega scores. A great humming siren noise is your reward for slipping a missile into its midriff.
The game features the normal two-player option - so that you can play solo or against a friend. I did neither but instead had a game against Mike Pattenden who I stuffed completely. I wouldn't normally have mentioned it but he asked me to [Liar! - MP]
There is more to Arcade Classics than just Invaders. It also features a version of Asteroids - a particularly average one though, and a version of the maze game Snakes - where your slithering creatures traverse the screen eating this and that.
The fourth game is a simple shoot-'em-up called Space War. Nothing to write home about, this one. All in all, though, you are getting pretty excellent value here - four games for less than 50p each. Best of all, though, is the chance to play Invaders again. Arcade Classics is worth two quid for this alone. Pure nostalgia - pure fun.