12 Fascinating Facts About Space Invaders

Did you know that the iconic arcade game “Space Invaders” was developed back in 1978?

Most of us may recall popular games like Mario, Pac-Man, and Lara Croft, but when it comes to iconic mascots, Space Invaders is likely to come to mind instantly.

Tomohiro Nishikado, a Japanese arcade game developer, created the vertical shooter game that changed the rules and was later licensed for production in the United States.

Here are some interesting facts about the legendary game:

1. It was the first game to save and achieve high scores.

2. The microcomputers available in 1978 were not capable of handling the complex tasks of designing and programming the game. Hence, Nishikado had to create his own hardware and tools to bring Space Invaders to life.

3. The game’s music style used an unprecedented interaction with the on-screen animation to influence the emotions of the player.

4. Space Invaders was a pioneer in the arcade game market and influenced the development of future shooting games.

5. While creating Space Invaders, Nishikado was inspired by Breakout, Star Wars, and The War of the Worlds.

6. It was rumored that the game was so popular that it caused a yen shortage in Japan. However, the coin shortage at the time was due to a reduction in production of coins during 1978 and 1979.

7. The game was initially released in a cocktail-table arcade game format and later converted to a cabinet format for its Western release.

8. The aliens in the game were modeled after octopuses, squids, and crabs.

9. Space Invaders became so popular that the media began to speculate whether arcade games would have a negative impact on the players’ minds. They also coined the phrase “Space Invaders wrist,” which referred to the pain caused by playing the game for too long.

10. If it weren’t for well-known interstellar fantasy worlds, the game might have been called “Plane Invaders.” It was inspired by Star Wars and H.G. Wells, and Nishikado based the design of the invaders on the squid-like creatures portrayed in The War of the Worlds novel.

11. Space Invaders is known as a killer app, a video game that had a significant impact on the sales of their associated game consoles. Other examples of killer app games include Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64 and Halo for Xbox.

12. For over a decade, a French street art legend known as Invader has been creating tiled images inspired by classic coin-op games in various locations around the world. These artworks include blocky stars from Space Invaders and have been placed in precarious spots such as bridges in New York, suburbs in Paris, and landmarks in Los Angeles.


1. What is Space Invaders?

Space Invaders is a classic video game that was released in 1978 by Taito Corporation. It is a simple shooter game where the player controls a laser cannon that moves horizontally across the bottom of the screen, trying to destroy rows of alien invaders that move horizontally and descend towards the bottom of the screen.

2. Who created Space Invaders?

Space Invaders was created by Tomohiro Nishikado, a Japanese video game designer and programmer. He developed the game while working at Taito Corporation, a Japanese arcade game developer and publisher.

3. How many copies of Space Invaders have been sold?

It is estimated that over 400,000 arcade cabinets of Space Invaders were sold worldwide. The game is considered one of the best-selling video games of all time and has had a significant impact on the video game industry.

4. What was the inspiration behind the design of the aliens in Space Invaders?

The design of the aliens in Space Invaders was inspired by characters from the popular Japanese anime series “Ultraman”. Tomohiro Nishikado wanted to create characters that looked interesting and unique, and the design of the aliens was one of the key factors in the success of the game.

5. What was the first game to feature a high score table?

Space Invaders was the first game to feature a high score table, which allowed players to compete with each other for the highest score. This feature became a standard in many other video games and is still used today.

6. What was the original name of the game in Japan?

The original name of the game in Japan was “Taito Space Invaders Part II”. The game was later renamed to simply “Space Invaders” when it was released internationally.

7. What impact did Space Invaders have on the video game industry?

Space Invaders had a significant impact on the video game industry, as it popularized the shooter game genre and helped to establish video games as a mainstream form of entertainment. It also inspired many other video games and has become an iconic part of popular culture.

8. What is the legacy of Space Invaders?

The legacy of Space Invaders is that it is considered one of the most important and influential video games of all time. It helped to establish video games as a mainstream form of entertainment, inspired many other video games, and has become an iconic part of popular culture.

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