Space Invaders

Space Invaders
Company: Atari
Model #:
Rick Maurer
Year: 1980
Space Invaders was the first licensed port of an arcade game.


A game that needs no introduction, Space Invaders was one of the most popular arcade games of all times.  However did you know that Space Invaders was the game that made the 2600 the legendary system it is today?  You see, the 2600 wasn't always the most popular system on the planet.  There was a time when the 2600 was struggling to prove itself just like all the other systems out there.  However once Atari managed to license Space Invaders, the hottest game in the arcades, the 2600 caught fire!  Many 2600's were sold just so people could play Space Invaders in the comfort of their own home.


Even though it may be the first arcade to home translation, the 2600 version of space invades isn't exactly same as its arcade counterpart.  The original Space Invaders game was in black & white and used colored overlays to produce some very limited colors (green and red).  Since the 2600 was capable of producing 128 colors, Atari decided that they would use them.  For the first time ever, Space Invaders was in color, and it never looked so good.  Some liberties were also taken with the graphics since the 2600 didn't have quite as high a resolution as the original arcade machine.  Finally due to the graphical constraints of the 2600, the invaders formation was changed to a 6x6 pattern instead of the arcade's 11x5.


The Atari also added something to Space Invaders that promised to keep it interesting for years to come, game variations!  The Atari 2600 version of Space Invaders had 112 (count 'em 112) game variations that affected everything from the speed of the invader's missiles, to whether the shields moved back and forth or not.  These tiny little variations kept Space Invaders fresh after the initial thrill wore off.


TEven though Atari made millions from Space Invaders (well over 100 million), programmer Rick Maurer only received around $11,000 for his amazing conversion.  Rick left Atari shortly after he finished Space Invaders because of this.  Quite frankly I don't blame him, you think with 100 million in profits Atari could have thrown a bit more his way.  Well wherever you are Rick, there's at least one gamer out there who thinks you got a raw deal.


Version Cart Text Description
?????? Space Invaders Final Version


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