Game Info:

Space Invaders Forever
Developed By: TAITO Corp.
Published By: ININ Games
Released: December 15, 2020
Available On: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, with parts of the package on Arcade, Nintendo DS, Windows PC, or Mobile platforms
Genre: Shoot 'em up
ESRB Rating: E for Mild Fantasy Violence
Number of Players: 1-4 with local multiplayer
Price: $29.99

Thank you TAITO Corp. for sending us this game to review!

Even if my gaming tastes have mostly moved on, Space Invaders will always have a special place in my heart - and I'll probably always want to review them when I can. Why? Because at the ripe age of three (or was it four?) years old, it was my very first video game! This was on the Atari 2600, which was actually the current gaming system at the time, if that dates me at all. I also remember playing Combat and Air Sea Battle that fateful day, but it was Space Invaders that I enjoyed the most.

As the shoot 'em up genre has grown, it's been interesting to see if Space Invaders could innovate and continue to stay relevant, without losing what made the game so interesting. Most shoot 'em ups today have scrolling environments, or ships that move in crazy ways. How can this classic game change, without losing what makes it unique?

Well, this collection celebrates three specific modern retellings of the Space Invaders formula, and interestingly, only the Switch could actually play them all. When I originally redeemed the review code, I was surprised to find two different icons showed up on my home screen: Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders, and Space Invaders Forever.

Space Invaders Forever

Strong Points: Interesting set of games in this collection, and each one brings something fun and different
Weak Points: Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders can only be played in portrait mode/undocked in handheld mode, as it requires access to the touch screen; some bosses can get tedious in other game modes
Moral Warnings: Animated shooting; at least one unlockable character in Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders has a short skirt

The first one is actually a mobile-only game, that also works on Switch because of the touch screen. It plays in portrait mode only, which makes sense given its mobile origins. (Incidentally, the only way to quit the game is to turn on a controller and hit the home button - a decidedly non-mobile approach.) The easiest way to play this game is to disconnect the controllers and swipe the Switch just like you would a phone. It does get heavy, but otherwise looks and plays nice.

In Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders, there's a rudimentary story; you fly on the spaceship Arkanoid, controlling the Vaus paddle ship, where you reflect back the attacks from Space Invaders enemies back at them. It actually has far more depth and eventually difficulty than it seems initially. If I had this on my phone I could easily see myself playing this a lot more often (which is why I suspect they included this - nothing better than buying a game twice). At $5.99 on the Play Store, and with absolutely no ads or microtransactions, this really isn't bad. It's certainly far from my game of the year, but it's a fun way to pass the time.

The main draw of the collection is accessible under the Space Invaders Forever launcher, which hides the majority of the Space Invaders content (though ironically the mobile port may actually have content quantity, it's perhaps not of the same quality). The main event is the quite fun Space Invaders Extreme, which is also on Steam (and the game description also lets you know that). This is a single-player experience with a fast-paced and intense Space Invaders game where you see Invaders of various sizes pulse along with the music in a psychedelic/synesthetic manner, with swarms of enemies for you to shoot down. Each time you clear the screen, more arrive. Sometimes when you blast a spaceship, you might get a powerup in the form of a more powerful weapon like a laser or bomb, or you might begin a bonus round, which can lead to a frenzy if you complete it, where tons of points await you. The unpredictability of it all makes it a ton of fun.

Space Invaders Forever
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 82%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 88%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 7/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The only disappointments about this game mode are really two: bosses can be quite hit or miss; some are fun to beat, while others are more tedious than fun. The other bummer is that nearly half of the levels are locked behind a skill wall. What I mean by this is that if you don't earn a high enough rank, you are forced to go to the 'easy' levels on the level tree. Out of the sixteen total levels, six of them are skill locked. It doesn't help that I am not skilled enough to unlock them myself; I assume that the rank is points based, though it doesn't actually say what is required for each rank, so I'm not sure. I have never gotten better than a 'B' rank. There are on-screen and audible callouts on occasion, so perhaps some of those hints can help lead to higher scores. Given my experience that more difficult levels can be more fun, I certainly hope I figure out the trick to being able to access them!

The final game, also inside of the Space Invaders Forever launcher, is the new home console port of Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE. This is a rather different take on Space Invaders; it's up to four players simultaneously! This one is quite fun in a group, but really boring when played alone. There are four times the number of enemies on screen than the classic game, and they are all scrunched into the screen, with your four player characters a button press away. It turns out that Space Invaders Gigamax was a short term attraction version of the game that was playable on a massive, thirty-three meter wide screen! You play both competitively and cooperatively with the other players, as you all work to kill the invaders, but also try to get the highest score. There are three stages: a stage one where you kill tons and tons of invaders, a stage two where you try to take out all of the growing invaders, and a boss level, where each player can team up and do more powerful blast shots. It's really fun, but again, solo it pales in comparison to Space Invaders Extreme. It is a nice change of pace though, and feels the most like the original Space Invaders.

Space Invaders Forever is really an interesting compilation. Space Invaders Extreme is certainly the highlight of the package, though it's also available as a standalone title on Steam for a lower price. Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders is rather inexpensive on mobile, for $5.99. I do have to say that I can't quite figure out how well this will work on PS4; are they going to require you to use the awkward controller touch pad? And lastly, the unique to this collection Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE is a lot of fun with others, though a bit too light on content, otherwise. My son and I enjoyed playing it together, though. Like all Space Invaders games, you are on a ship and you blast aliens out of the sky; not horribly violent. That said, Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders does feature characters who can help you, and a few of the girls have short skirts that are quite tight. Beyond that, this collection is squeaky clean. I feel like the price is on the high side, but not unfair. It's absolutely worth playing if you're looking for something different, or for something fun for shorter gaming sessions.

About the Author

Jason Gress

Like us!


Please consider supporting our efforts.  Since we're a 501 C3 Non-Profit organization, your donations are tax deductible.

Latest Comments

Latest Downloads


About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

S5 Box