Space Invaders Extreme
Real Space Invaders
Developer(s) Taito
GULTI co., ltd. (PSP)[1]
Backbone Entertainment (XBLA)
Publisher(s) JP Taito
NA / EU Square Enix
Series Space Invaders
Release Date(s) NDS, PSP
JP February 21 2008
NA June 17 2008
EU July 4, 2008[2]
AUS July 30, 2008[3]
NA 2009[4]
Genre(s) Shooter, Action[5]
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Rating(s) CERO: A
ESRB: Everyone
PEGI: 3+
Platform(s) Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Xbox Live Arcade

Space Invaders Extreme is a re-vamped incarnation of the classic arcade game Space Invaders. The DS and PSP versions were released to mark the 30th anniversary of Space Invaders which saw its original arcade release in 1978. An HD version of the game has been remastered by Backbone Entertainment for Xbox LIVE Arcade with new four-player multiplayer modes and visualizer backgrounds by Jeff Minter, to be released in April 2009 as a wrap-up to the 30th anniversary. The game is played at a fast pace with an electronic soundtrack and sound effects.

A sequel for the DS titled Space Invaders Extreme 2 is due out in Japan on 26 March 2009[6][7]. No details have yet been made available regarding release dates in other countries.


Single player

The player controls a laser base at the bottom of the display - this can move left or right and fire. To the top of the display formations of invaders appear - these must be shot for points and to avoid them destroying the players' laser base. Sometimes a flying saucer will traverse the top of the screen. This is the same basic design as Space Invaders; the player loses a life if he is hit, or if one of the aliens touches the ground; but the formation of the aliens differs greatly, changing from level to level. Sometimes there are only a handful of invaders in a tight formation, sometimes individual invaders advance rapidly down the screen separately from the main formation, and sometimes a boss level will be encountered, often consisting of a very large invader and various guards. The invaders themselves have individual properties, such as firing lasers, splitting into duplicates or charging for the ground after being hit once. Bonuses for higher scores can be obtained by doing as instructed by words that flash up on the background, such as hitting invaders of a particular colour or particular type.

Shooting four invaders of the same colour in a row awards one of four power-ups; bomb, broad shot, laser and shield. If a different set of four is shot afterwards, a flashing UFO will appear. Shooting that accesses the Bonus Round, in which a player is given a short time to complete a certain goal, such as defeating so many aliens. If the task is completed, the game enters 'Fever Time', awarding the player with an even more powerful up for a short time, allowing the player to get through waves of enemies faster. Getting different combinations of colours can reap different bonuses, such as a roulette UFO that offers bonuses such as Freeze and Extra Player, changing all the aliens to the same colour, or turning all enemies turn into UFOs that reap power ups after one hit.

The main game sees the player go through 5 stages, and depending on the score he/she managed to achieve at the end of the level 2 and beyond, he/she can opt for an easier or harder route, with a total of 11 individual stages. Arcade Mode features a save and retry feature that allows players to continue and restart the game from the level they were on. Ranking mode does not feature these options, but allows the player to post his/her score on the online leaderboards. Stage Mode allows the player to replay any stage they have completed.


The upcoming Xbox LIVE Arcade version of the game is the first version to include four-player co-op and versus multiplayer modes. Players can compete both locally and online over Xbox LIVE. Sadly, the Xbox LIVE Arcade version's Multiplayer mode is no longer available as it is now an offline game and nobody plays this game anymore due to poor sales.

On the DS, two players can compete against each other locally via the DS's built-in WiFi connection or against each other via the Internet. The top screen is used to display the remote player's progress; there is also an online ranking system and the addition of download play allows a multiplayer game to be played from a single game cartridge. The PSP version only allows local competitive play.

Music and sound effects

The game features an electronic soundtrack with the sound effects keyed to it, integrating the effects with the music and enhancing it.

A soundtrack album with tracks from the game was later released.[8]

Differences between versions

Multiple player options for the DS version have already been mentioned above, but in gameplay terms both versions are the same, sharing the same levels, attack formations, similar graphics, music and power-ups. However the PSP version has crisper graphics due to the higher resolution implemented on the PSP. The obvious main difference between the two is the use of the second screen on the DS version. This is used to make certain levels, specifically Bonus Rounds and Boss Battles, vertically larger. When not used for this it contains assorted information on the game currently in play. The Nintendo DS version can also use the Nintendo DS Paddle Controller which was originally designed for Arkanoid on the DS, or the DS Rumble Pack, adding force feedback to the game's music.

In addition to the peripheral support, the DS version features many modes of online play not available to its PSP counterpart; the game can be played against random players and friends over the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, and top scores can also be shared over the internet. Also, single-card download play is available for local multiplayer. The PSP version only supports multiplayer locally in Ad-Hoc mode, and each player must have their own game disc. No Infrastructure modes are supported for online play or high score tables.[9]

The forthcoming Xbox Live Arcade version has many of the networking features of the DS version with the addition of a co-op mode where up to four players can play the arcade mode. It also uses background visualizers as created by Llamasoft's Jeff Minter.[4]


Review scores
Publication Score A-[10] (DS)
A- [11](PSP)
Game Informer 8.25 of 10[12] (DS)
8.25 of 10[13] (PSP)
GameSpot 7.5 of 10[14] (DS)
GameTrailers 9 of 10[15]
IGN 9 of 10[16] (DS)
8.5 of 10[17](PSP)
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Game Rankings 84%[12] (DS)
84%[13] (PSP)

The game has enjoyed critical praise since its release. The game is noted for its fast-paced gameplay with IGN claiming the game "[is] energetic and addictive, and does an absolutely fantastic job retaining the old-school charm of the original 1978 classic"; however, IGN scored the PSP version of the game slightly lower due to its lack of online play and score sharing.[16] Gamespot stated that "the gameplay has been improved" over the original.[14] 1UP called the single-player mode "engrossing" and Gamespot later concludes that "Space Invaders Extreme is a very good example of how to update a classic game".[10][14]

Both versions of Space Invaders Extreme were listed as the best shooter game for their respective consoles by[18][19] IGN also awarded the DS version as having the best artistic design and best original score, as well as being best shooter for the DS.[20][21]


Space Invaders Extreme 2 was released in Japan on the 26th of March, 2009. There is a large amount of new content, such as new stages, boss formations, and a 'bingo' system. There are currently no announcements on European or American releases.


  1. "Random Space Invaders Extreme information I probably should have known...".
  2. GoNintendo » Blog Archive » Space Invaders Extreme & Arkanoid DS available across Europe this July- What are you waiting for?
  3. Anthony Capone (2008-07-04). "Updated Australian Release List - 4/7/08". PALGN. Retrieved on 2008-07-13.
  4. 4.0 4.1
  5. "Space Invaders Extreme Page". GamePro. Retrieved on 2008-07-01.
  9. IGN: Space Invaders Extreme Review
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bettenhausen, Shane (2008-06-13). "Space Invaders Extreme Nintendo DS Review Index, Space Invaders Extreme Reviews". Retrieved on 2008-06-17.
  11. Bettenhausen, Shane (2008-06-13). "Space Invaders Extreme Playstation Portable Review Index, Space Invaders Extreme PSP Reviews". Retrieved on 2008-06-18.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Space Invaders Extreme Reviews". Game Rankings. Retrieved on 2008-06-18.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Space Invaders Extreme Reviews". Game Rankings. Retrieved on 2008-06-18.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Thomas, Aaron (2008-06-16). "Space Invaders Extreme for DS Review - DS Space Invaders Extreme Review". Gamespot. Retrieved on 2008-06-17.
  15. " - Space Invaders Extreme - Review". GameTrailers. Retrieved on 2008-06-19.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Harris, Craig (2008-06-13). "IGN: Space Invaders Extreme Review". Retrieved on 2008-06-17.
  17. Harris, Craig (2008-06-13). "IGN: Space Invaders Extreme Review". Retrieved on 2008-06-18.
  18. "IGN DS: Best Shooting Game 2008". (2008-12-15). Retrieved on 2008-12-16.
  19. "IGN PSP: Best Shooting Game 2008". (2008-12-15). Retrieved on 2008-12-16.
  20. "IGN DS: Best Artistic Design 2008". (2008-12-15). Retrieved on 2008-12-16.
  21. "IGN DS: Best Original Score 2008". (2008-12-15). Retrieved on 2008-12-16.

External links