Space Invaders Get Even
- Square Enix
It's been 30 years since Space Invaders infiltrated the world's arcades and made off with a generation's laundry money. To mark the anniversary, we've already been treated to one exceptional update of the classic in Space Invaders Extreme. So it's no terrible tragedy that Space Invaders Get Even, a new download available through Nintendo's WiiWare store, feels only partially materialized. The game starts with a great premise: Players handle the Space Invaders mothership, a levitating saucer with a slew of Lucky Charms-colored aliens swarming around it. They attack Earth and wreak havoc, smashing tanks, turrets, and other puny defenses. But the destruction isn't all that rampant, since the game saddles you with an artificial time limit. Seconds tick away as you're fighting, and you're docked every time your spaceship takes a hit. To avoid death, you have to resort to the nerdiest of all videogame pursuits—methodically dodging a hail of bullets. The scenery changes a little as the game progresses, but once you've toppled one skyscraper, you've toppled them all. The small satisfaction of devastating Earth's defenses quickly fades. Then wannabe planet-crushers are left wrestling with the game's controls. Particularly vexing is the alternating waggle that's supposed to replenish your supply of alien minions.
Beyond the game: Space Invaders Get Even has been chopped into four episodic bits, each of which costs $5. Strangely, the first chunk is the shortest and most frustrating.
Worth playing for: When you pull cattle up to your ship with your UFO's tractor beam, an exasperated farmer cries to the heavens, "What do they want with my cows?" You don't want to know, mister.
Frustration sets in when: The game doesn't take the time to explain the rules. You're immediately thrown into a fight and expected to muddle your way through. This is not how you encourage people to spend another 15 bucks.
Final judgment: Mission aborted.