Space Invaders HD – review

Taito release the iPad version of Space Invaders with added two player support… So is it a worthy upgrade?

In short? no! We got to see a sneak peak at the new two player mode at E3. We thought it was a great addition, but looking at this HD purchase as a whole, we are disappointed.

For those who have played the original arcade version you will remember that there were two ways to play Space Invaders. One was in the usual upright cabinet, the other was a top down table orientation known as a cocktail cabinet.

This comprised of two sets of controls at opposite ends of the table, allowing two players to sit opposite each other and partake in a session of two player action. The game play was essentially pass and play, with the other player only playing when the other dies. In the cocktail mode the screen flipped to align itself with the players orientation.

It is this mode that they have added to the iPad edition of Space Invaders. This is all well and good, but it’s the effort put into to it that is a disappointment. Sure, the screen flips when played in two player mode, allowing you to set the iPad down on the table and replicate cocktail mode, but that’s as far as it goes. Visually nothing has been added.

This game is supposed to be the HD version, but apart from the splash screens increased resolution the rest of the game is simply the iPhone version running in 2x. Quite why they didn’t graphically optimised any of the menus, overlays and the virtual controls for the iPad is a mystery, it’s very lazy.

spaceinvaders-comparisonObviously the gameplay itself doesn’t warrant graphical improvements as it’s simply showing the original 1978 graphics in all it’s pixelated glory, that I can live with, but where is the HD cabinet art and realistic looking controls? A lot more work should have been put into replicating the look of the cocktail cabinet, from the dual controls to the curve of the tube based screen. It’s a missed opportunity in my book.

I’m not sure even die hard fans will be willing to part with $4.99 just for the two player mode, when they may have already bought the iPhone version (also $4.99). Instead I think Taito should have simply updated the the iPhone edition and made it universal.

After the creativity that has been poured into Infinity Gene (a five star game!), as well as the fun little Space Invader gadget apps (calculator and clock, etc) it’s disappointing to see that passion has not been given to this seemingly rushed iPad version of a classic.




Space Invaders HD is out now for $4.99. Get it on the SPACE

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  • http://miami2008 jonaathan

    E aX w