spaceinvadersTaito's Space Invaders Inifinity Gene [$4.99] was finally unleashed into the App Store tonight, and our reaction is simply "Wow!".

The iPhone version of the game is an expanded version of the Japanese mobile version and walks you down an evolutionary path of shooters starting with a brief glimpse of the original Space Invaders. Each stage adds new capabilities and weapons to your ship and can even unlock additional menu items and options for the game itself. It becomes a frantic and incredibly fun experience that has blown away my expectations, and delivers one of the best shooter experiences on the iPhone.

You start off as a simple left/right moving single shooter from the original Space Invaders and gain advanced weapons as well as the ability to move freely around the screen.

The official trailer offers a high quality glimpse of the varied gameplay:

Space Invaders Infinity Gene offers touch screen controls seem perfect, allowing you to touch and hold on any part of the screen to move your ship around. This avoids the problem of obscuring your ship with your finger, and can allow for some precise dodging as seen in my gameplay video below. Meanwhile, the shooting is set to auto-fire.

By unlocking additional capabilities, you add to your evolutionary tree which is depicted as a menu level-select tree. Evolutionary power-ups include advanced weapons such as rapid shot, search laser, wave, lock-on, and gravity. Other unlockables include extra stages, and even extra menu items. For example, the settings menu originally only allows you to have 3 lives per game, but later unlocks allow 5 or even 7 lives (this is as far as I've gotten). The extra lives and weapons come in handy in later levels as the difficulty ramps up. The game also comes with "Easy" and "Normal" difficulties, though it wouldn't surprise me if a "Hard" mode unlocks later on (update: this has been confirmed to happen).

While the official stage count is 38, the possible number of levels to play is essentially infinite. The game includes a unique "Music" menu option that allows you to pick a song from your iPhone/iPod's library and play a song-specifically generated game level (see video above). This means that when you go back to play using the same song, you'll get the same level. And if your friend is playing on their iPhone using the identical MP3, he or she will also get the same level. (Note that the levels don't actually follow the tempo or beat of the songs, but are programatically generated from the song data.)

At this stage, my only suggestion for the game would be a more robust high-score tracking system. While the built-in stages store high score records, the music generated levels don't seem to.

Space Invaders Infinite Gene is an amazing effort by Taito to bring a fresh and modern version of Space Invaders to the iPhone. The loads of unlockables, varied gameplay and music-generated levels should give this game a long shelf life on your iPhone. If it's not obvious by now, we highly recommend buying this game.

App Store Link: Space Invaders Infinity Gene, $4.99

TouchArcade Rating

  • nsolo1717

    nobody has commented on this cuz everyone is playing it.......very happy to pick this up as soon as i heard it was on the store....if you even remotely like shooters , you know what to do ..... click buy

  • Dark NRG

    Did anyone even know this was comin??

    I'd love to see a breakdown of hyped/waited for games (minigore anyone) vs games that pop up overnight and are an incredible surprise =]

  • pante
  • http://www.marcsblog.net Marc

    good game but to much for me :( waiting for a sale

  • unconnected

    That video sold it for me, looks like a really polished effort there from Taito.

  • Fokion

    Auto-fire, I presume?

  • EatKodosDaily

    I'm confused about a lot of parts...

    how exactly does movement work? Is your ship just always offset by a fixed amount above your finger?

    how does shooting work? Is it just automatic or how are you shooting?

    how does aiming work? A bunch of those projectiles were doing a lot more than simply shooting forward. Does most every weapon in the game just home in on the enemies?

    how long will it take to get through the 38 official stages on just the normal difficulty?

  • WeirdingWay

    how exactly does movement work? Is your ship just always offset by a fixed amount above your finger?

    No. It's stationary unless you make a motion anywhere on the screen, then it just mirrors that motion. The ship does not actually follow your finger's actual location.

    how does shooting work? Is it just automatic or how are you shooting?

    Both. Auto-shoot or you can set to manual mode to tap with another finger to fire.

    how does aiming work? A bunch of those projectiles were doing a lot more than simply shooting forward. Does most every weapon in the game just home in on the enemies?

    how does aiming work? A bunch of those projectiles were doing a lot more than simply shooting forward. Does most every weapon in the game just home in on the enemies?

    I'm not terribly far but search beam does. Most of the stuff you shoot doesn't home but shoots faster or gets bigger (waves) with the powerup blobs from the UFOs. It uses the typical tiered powerup system from most shoot-em ups.

    how long will it take to get through the 38 official stages on just the normal difficulty?

    Hard to say...it JUST came out.

  • WeirdingWay

    sorry, didn't mean to double-post that part about aiming...go go edit function

  • PeterM11

    Great review. I agree completely. Amazing game.

  • glorybox

    Guys, this game is quite possibly the best game I've played on the iPhone!

  • Gryphon23

    WOW! Looks amazing... I'm not sure if i want to purchase it for 5 bucks, it looks like the kind of game where you pull your hair out swearing at it...

  • CaseyLay

    I love the commercial. How they used that Darwin quote. And it went so well in context. That's great advertising. It almost makes me want to get it.

  • foolishwolf

    really, really well-done. money well spent.

  • hootch

    why do you all love it? it looks like shit, and the hoover-next-to-my-finger control seems to be the same as with the clay-ship game, which wasnt perfect..

  • foolishwolf

    oh pipe down hootch

  • http://differentcloth.com gordon

    Looks beautiful, sold.

    Please stop whining about the freaking price people, if you want people to produce compelling content you're going to have to pay for it somehow.

    Unless you want to drown in $.99 match-3 tower-defense farting Mr T. airport simulation apps that is?

  • gregory

    touch control only?? yeah, ill pass....maybe they'll add it later....why oh why do people like this control scheme??

  • McChumpers

    Amazing game hands down. I don't care about $4.99 for games as I don't have children who depend on me or a wife to bitch at me for doing so. Just don’t buy fast food or coffee for a week and get this ish on your iPwn now!

  • Timothy

    tilt control is too hard for this precision. Are you suggesting virtual d-pad?

  • Timothy

    This game is incredible the control scheme is perfect. Thus is for shooter fans only. If you don't buy this for 5 bucks you're just being cheap. Thus is high quality production all around. Well worth 5 dollars.

  • Timothy

    This game is incredible the control scheme is perfect. This is for shooter fans only. If you don't buy this for 5 bucks you're just being cheap. This is high quality production all around. Well worth 5 dollars. (edited)

  • stewart uk

    amazing game completed it in say a hour, now on hard level and its still unlocking stuff. you will complete it the day u get it, but the music opition lets u play it forever... could do with more levels on the main game, maybe soon i hope..but for now im happy payin 2.99 for a polished and pick up and play game.....

  • http://www.badbumble.com BadBumble

    I really like this game a lot except that the noise filter in the sound effects gets on my nerves a bit, but the game itself is really nice. I would love to see a TRON game made like this. I really like the way each level always seems to add something new to it. It's worth £3 for sure.

  • http://www.wildsurvive.com Mikhail

    Really polished game! Well worth the money!

  • http://gamesession.wordpress.com Schmoek

    The fact that you visually play through the evolution of an entire genre of videogames is what makes this game perfect for me. From the simple block that shoots only forward to the ikarugaresque onslaught of homing beams it's just thought through so well.
    Tha fact that the retro soundeffects stay with you while the music evolves as well, colour is added and so forth...
    It's like a journey through videogame history.

    And let me tell you: Once you unlock the hard mode it gets real. And by that I mean awesome. Try playing a custom stage with a drum&bass track in hard mode with stock: 2. Luckily the controls are amazing.

    While the learning curve is very smooth the game can get challenging very sudden - this is compensated by a global experience bar powered by genes - You can evolve the entire game (Adding weapons and other upgrades to your ship) by playing any mode you wish - which effectively enables level grinding that's a lot of fun.

    Being a graphic designer myself I have to say the visuals are stunning from my point of view. The subtle change of the ship's design and the frantic black and white explosions just fit the game so well.

    "nobody has commented on this cuz everyone is playing it…….very happy to pick this up as soon as i heard it was on the store….if you even remotely like shooters , you know what to do ….. click buy"

    Second that.

  • G-SYS

    There is only one word which describes the game: awesome!

  • http://www.3dtotal.com Tom Greenway

    Just bought it after reading the review and it is a great little game, the graphics, presentation and ideas on evolution are top notch.

  • David

    This game is veeeery good! Well worth the $5. It is certainly on my top 5 iPhone games ever!

  • freqdata

    From beginning to end, one of the best games for the Ipod.

    Graphics and sound are as good as can be, the lighting, shading etc are bang on, and the "evolution" concept is quite unique. This is well worth the money, particularly if you grew up playing SI in the 80s.

  • Kita

    By far the best game i have on my iphone and i own hundreds.

  • Andrew

    Most of the time I see reviews for iphone games that are "good" its merely because they are better than other crappy iphone games. This game as far as I am concerned is the turning point for shootem ups at least. Its on par with space invaders extreme on the ds and as far as I am concerned is quite a bit better.

    I never thought touch controls could be this good but I guess it can!

  • Tzi

    I don't get what the heck you people have against touch control? Tilt Control? No way, too unprecise. Virtual D-Pad? No. Friggin'. Way. It just sucks. Touch control is so far the best way to control iPhone games and I like it that way.

    Haven't bought this game though, yet. It looks gorgeous but I just bought Treasure Grab and I shouldn't buy these like bread. ._.

  • Oggy

    Fantastic game. My favorite since Isotope. It's got everything good about the shooters I played when I was a kid. The touch control works perfectly. The varied weapons are interesting, and each has their strengths for a given level.

    If I'm forced to come up with a complaint, I'd wish for more levels in the main progression. The random, music-generated levels are cool, but not enough. Although I'm still unlocking ("evolving") things as I'm replaying on Hard...

    If you like shooters at all, you will find this easily worth $5.

  • Skavinger

    Hey guys,

    Just wanted to gather some feedback from anyone that might've come across this same technical issue (with this game). first, let me just say, I love this game.

    anyway ... Everytime I load this game, play it, and exit out of it, when I go to my ipod player (the native ipod player in my iphone 3gS [3.0]), the volume slider below any song I play gets "jumpy" and "rickety", as though the silver slider-button were trying to escape my thumb. The only remedy that fixes this dilemma is to restart the iphone. However, any time I play Infinity Gene, the volume slider in the ipod gets a little schizophrenic. Now, the reason I suspect this all has to do with Infinity Gene is because I tested out every other game app I have in my iphone, and none of them lead to this problem. But when I play Infinity Gene, it occurs immediately after ... I know this all anecdotal, of course, and not anything resembling hard "evidence" ...

    If anyone's experienced this, let me know ... educate me ...

  • Bobby

    One of the AppStore reviewers mentioned that the game would only work on the iPhone and not the itouch. I have the 3.0 update installed on my 2g itouch. Will the game work on mine or not?

  • Steve

    Hey Scavinger!

    I've had that exact same problem too and had no idea what was causing it.. come to think about it it DID happen the same day I bought this AWESOME game!

    Hope it gets fixed soon..

    Then again I am on 3.10 beta 3 - maybe its that - 50/50 as to which it is then...

  • Jimmy_James

    Skavinger/Steve

    Yes, I'm having this issue too, I have an iPod Touch 2G running 3.0 I can't seem to find out why this is happening either, but it always seems to happen after I play Space Invaders, very annoying... I hope there is a fix for this soon! The mystery continues...

  • stu

    I get the same problem with the volume slider too - kind of brings down an otherwise cool game :(

  • GiHubb

    How many levels are in the game? I got to level 3-6 - so a total of 18 levels, not including the bonus or music levels which aren't as exciting as the main levels which introduce new concepts (the bonus + music levels rehash the same stuff). A pity. It really ended too fast if this is so.

    Can someone confirm this?

  • http://spencernewton.co.nr Spencer

    First off this game is great. Second, a major cheaat for this game, actually not a cheat as in a code, but a major hint.

    *HINT ALERT*
    Extra Level 5 [X-05] : Leading Strand is a HUGE cash cow. You will get an evolution almost everytime you complete it. Now alot of you will be like what are you talking about, i cant get that many points at once. Sure you can. Just use the wave setting. Set it to wave and for the first part, just avoid the bullets coming out of the stop sign shaped things and get those bonuses man! Then when you get to the part with all the hectagons coming at you and back up all the way, and position yourself in the middle. Let go of the ipod, and if you got enough bonuses you will destroy almost every single hectagon. Then all you have to worry about is the boss at the end, which is probably one of the easiest bosses in the game.
    *HINT OVER*

    Also one spoiler for a super hard game...

    When you get enough evolutions you will get the hard mode for the game. Now try it out. Hard right. Now get a lot more of evolutions with the Xtra stage cheat thing i listed above. You'll get a new weapon, called Classic. Thats right. You get to play with the original single shot space invaders gun. It stays single shot too, no matter how many times you hit a UFO. Try that for extreme play.

    *END RANT*

    Great game

  • Skavinger

    Hey Steve, Stu and Jimmy_James,

    Thanks for responding! Yes, this problem still persists for me. Everytime I "redownload" Space Invaders Infinity Gene, after a short session of playing the game, the volume slider in my iphone 3G S' (running 3.0 and up) gets impossible to control. It got to a point where I had to (in a sacrificial, ceremonial fugue) delete this beloved game so as to avoid constantly restarting my iphone everytime I wanted to use the native ipod player following a kickass session with infinity gene. I've been in a perpetual Tolstoyian existential slump of depression ever since. I miss you, Infinity Gene. Oh how I wanted to evolve, infinitely ... and shoot stuff ... infinitely of course ...

    By the way and FYI ... Infinity Gene isn't the only game-app that causes this phenomenon. Sadly, the fun 99-center app, Minigore, is also followed by the shizophrenic, palsied volume slider's conniption fit, as though the volume slider were boycotting "fun AppStore games, just because I can". I draw some comfort that I'm not the only one ... this might be a software-update-worthy fix (hopefully not the hardware--I'm so lazy ... having to take this thing to the Genius Bar for THIS problem is a bit borderline-overkill).

    Anybody facing this issue, let me know if you've come across any fixes. Thanks!

  • Chris

    The evolutions unlock in order, no matter which stage you branch off of. Hard Mode unlocks when you beat "Unknown" at the end of the final stage.

    I've unlocked Hard mode, and every object and enemy destroyed leaves a parting gift projectile, making it a nightmare with the Lock-On weapon.

    Also there's "Round" shot that fires opposite where you move and is unwieldy to use, and "Classic" which is the little underpowered fighter from the original Space Invaders.

    I've also found at least 11 Extra Stages, one of which is a Tag-Team Boss Rush. Three waves of two bosses each. Ouch!

    I've also found three sets of BGM Sound Tests, some SFX tests, and 4 of 15 Enemy gallery items that name the ships.

    All in all, fun game I'm still playing. Got to try the music generated levels though. Got some interesting music.

  • http://spillink.com/ bharathi

    Nice game. Really worthy...

  • cd15

    i have a ship that nobody else has its called r-gray2 p.s. try getingall the add on ships and finishing the game with the lock-on