Space Invaders

Space Invaders logo
Space Invaders logo 1978
Original name: "Space Monsters"

Name: "Space Invaders"

Category: Video games

Subcategory: Arcade

Genres: Sci-Fi, fixed shooter

Inventor: Tomohiro Nishikado

Developer: Taito Corporation - Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Publishers: Taito (Japan), Midway (North America)

Released: 1978 - June (Japan) - July (North America, limited) - Oct. (N.A., wide)

Platform: Arcade

First price: 1 play 1 coin - 25 cents

Tomohiro Nishikado
Tomohiro Nishikado
(Osaka, March 31, 1944)
video game developer
and creator of the
arcade Space Invaders
Number of players: Up to 2 players, alternating turns

Cast of characters:
--- Laser cannon (1 play 3 cannons)
--- Large Invader (10 points)
--- Medium invader (20 points)
--- Small invader (30 points)
--- UFO (50 to 300 points)

Features: Space Invaders is a two-dimensional fixed shooter game in which the player controls a laser cannon by moving it horizontally across the bottom of the screen and firing at descending aliens. The aim is to defeat five rows of eleven aliens that move horizontally back and forth across the screen as they advance towards the bottom of the screen. The player defeats an alien, and earns points, by shooting it with the laser cannon. As more aliens are defeated, the aliens' movement and the game's music both speed up. Defeating the aliens (55 per screen) brings another wave that is more difficult, a loop which can continue without end. The aliens attempt to destroy the cannon by firing at it while they approach the bottom of the screen. If they reach the bottom, the alien invasion is successful and the game ends. A special "mystery ship" will occasionally move across the top of the screen and award bonus points if destroyed. The laser cannon is partially protected by several stationary defense bunkers that are gradually destroyed by a numerous amount of blasts from the aliens or player.

Interesting facts: The game was originally titled Space Monsters, inspired by a popular song in Japan at the time ("Monster"), but was changed to Space Invaders by Nishikado's superiors. Space Invaders was first released in a cocktail-table format with black and white graphics, while the Western release by Midway was in an upright cabinet format.

Slogan (1978): «The world's hottest game»

Property: Taito Corporation

Producer website:

Space Invaders screenshot
Space Invaders, screenshot of the play area

Space Invaders cocktail table front
Space Invaders cocktail table top
Space Invaders cocktail table instructions
Space Invaders cocktail table inside
Space Invaders cocktail table monitor
Space Invaders "cocktail table" cabinet by Taito (1978)

Space Invaders upright cabinet
Space Invaders upright cabinet controls
Space Invaders upright cabinet by Midway (1978)

Space Invaders play area with background
Space Invaders, play area with background (1978)

Space Invaders, first level gameplay

Space Invaders upright cabinet advertising
Space Invaders, advertisement for the upright cabinet by Midway (1978)

Space Invaders cocktail table advertising
Space Invaders, advertisement for the "cocktail table" cabinet by Midway (1978)

Space Invaders 40th Anniversary (1978-2018)