As any retro gamer can tell you, Taito's 1978 arcade classic Space Invaders is the mother of all top-down shooters. It created a genre and revolutionized the video game industry when it made its arcade debut. It was so popular, in fact, that shortly after its release it caused a national shortage of 100-yen coins in Japan. Named, in 2007, the top-rated arcade game of all time by Guinness World Records, Space Invaders is a true classic.
And, happily, the franchise has seen some dusting off in recent years. Space Invaders Extreme, released early last year on the DS and PSP, breathed new life into the original formula with frantic on-screen action and psychedelic background effects, while the WiiWare release Space Invaders Get Even put the player in control of the invaders, for a change, wreaking havoc across various 3D cityscapes. The iPhone even saw a bit of the action with Taito's official App Store release of Space Invaders [link], a faithful port of the original game.
But, for iPhone gamers, the story doesn't end there. We're happy to report that Taito has informed us that a forthcoming iPhone release will deliver a jolt of modern Space Invaders goodness to fans who crave a bit more action than the port of the original can offer. Get ready for Space Invaders Infinity Gene.
Originally released in the Japanese mobile handset market, Space Invaders Infinity Gene is a fast-paced action shooter with evolution as the core game driver.
Evolution is the primary concept behind SPACE INVADERS INFINITY GENE. The game evolves as you play it, gradually shifting and transforming from the classic game we're all familiar with to something fresh and new.
As the player progresses through the game, shooting down enemies, collecting points, and passing in-game milestones, he or she will be greeted with [the Evolution screen]. This signals that the game has transformed in some way. A new special ability, weapon, subsystem, etc., has evolved and is available for use.
For example, at first only left / right motion is permitted (like the arcade original), but during gameplay the player can evolve and gain the ability to move with full freedom of motion. Advanced weapons systems and various other abilities are also achieved via evolution through gameplay, which is a lucky thing, as many stages end with massive boss motherships that spawn hordes of Invaders.
One of the standout features of earlier Space Invaders Extreme is its well-chosen electronica soundtrack that wonderfully compliments the frantic gameplay. In this regard, Taito informs us, Space Invaders Infinity Gene will follow in Extreme's footsteps, continuing the studio's collaboration with veteran sound team Zuntata to provide audio tracks that mesh well with the game's techno music "look", as the studio describes it.
Taito indicates that the game will be arriving in the App Store soon (no firm date indicated) and has begun posting screenshots and updates surrounding the iPhone release on their Facebook page.
We're very anxious to share with readers our reaction to this excellent looking shooter. Stay tuned for a full report when the game goes live in the App Store.
See a video of the Japanese mobile handset version for an idea of what's to come.