A classic video game 'Space Invaders' is displayed at the Science Museum on October 20, 2006 in London
A classic video game 'Space Invaders' is displayed at the Science Museum on October 20, 2006 in London

Space invaders turns 40: How to play the classic game, and why people love to so much

The game is one of the most influential ever made – but is quietly disappearing from the internet

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 19 June 2018 15:13
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Space Invaders, perhaps the most classic game ever made, is turning 40.

The game was released in 1978, and in the years since has gone on to influence the entirety of culture. Its consequences were felt not only in games, but across various media, but across science fiction.

It changed the way games worked. It was the first major game to depict its own world, rather than simulating something that already exists; it introduced central concepts, like the high score and multiple lives.

And it was rewarded with love across the world. It swiftly became the most popular title in arcades everywhere, a status it has kept since the game was first released.

The concepts that it brought to games can now be seen everywhere. Gaming is impossible to imagine without numerous lives and hiding in cover – both of which arrived with Space Invaders.

But the game itself has become more and more difficult to actually play. The arcade machines have gradually disappeared, and so too are recreations of the game.

Once, versions of Space Invaders could be found across the internet, all recreated in Adobe Flash. They could be played just like the arcade machines – though they didn't force you to pay – and kept the experience alive for both nostalgic original players and people discovering the game for the first time.

But Flash is now incompatible with most mobile devices and many computers. That makes the game hard to play.

As such, anyone wanting to try out the classic game must search out a more modern version of it. It can be played here, for instance, or versions of it are just a search away in the iOS or Google Play Store.

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