I know what you’re thinking, “Are they really rehashing Space Invaders for another release?” but hold that thought because Space Invaders Forever contains three very good games that build hugely on the old arcade classic and are well worth playing.
The package consists of three games that have been previously released in one form or another, though two of these have never reached the West before. Space Invaders Extreme is the headliner here and does for Space Invaders what Pac-Man Championship Edition did for the little yellow guy. It has the same day-glo, neon lit extreme action take on the original game with plenty of added features to keep it fresh. You can try for large multiplier scores and aim for the top spot on the leaderboard, as you’d expect from an arcade game. Those who remember it from the DS way back when will find pretty much the same game here and that’s fine, it worked well back that and still works today.
Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE is an interesting multiplayer take on the traditional game and is nearer to the original in feel, just with a zoomed out view and the multiplayer making this a bit of a hectic affair (If you try to play it solo you will die, a lot!). Aside from some nice graphics effects here, there’s not a lot to say about this beyond the fact that it’s Space Invaders and if you like Space Invaders then you’ll like this. Oh, and the soundtrack is pretty damn good, too.
Arkanoid vs Space Invaders is by far my favourite, mixing up the two classic games so well that they feel they were always destined to be together. The Switch needs to be rotated sideways to play and, yes, it’s primarily a touch based mobile game but it’s well designed, addictive and, most importantly, fun. It does mean that you can’t play this game in docked mode, though. A shame, really, as this compilation could have made the effort to translate the gameplay to landscape to provide something extra.
As you can guess, the way to beat the invaders coming down the screen towards you is to launch your trusty ball at them with the bat at the bottom of the screen. Upgrades do the usual things, such as shrinking and enlarging the bat or giving you multiple balls. The fact that it’s a pretty tight Arkanoid game in itself means that this is well worth playing.
The package as a whole, though, feels a little lacking in content beyond the three rather old games. Fans will no doubt lap it up still and Extreme in particular has a lot of replayability but with the Arkanoid game being handheld only and Gigamax only really being worth playing in multiplayer, that leaves this package with one main game and two curiosities. While Space Invaders Invincible Collection doesn’t have a Western release this will have to do but it’s a poor showing compared to the Japanese compilation that far outshines the content on offer here.
Space Invaders fans will still have something to be interested in and I still hold that Space Invaders Extreme is well worth playing on its own, but we’re left with a feeling of what could have been with this Space Invaders Forever package.