The latest version of Space Invaders, at first glance, does not appear to stand out from its predecessors; its title screen is in black and white, the icons are vector graphics, and the game’s initial stage bears a strong resemblance to the classic introductory level from yesteryear.
However, remove the game’s retro layers, and it really begins to show its true colors. This especially clear in this quote:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin
This line proves fitting, as the concept of change manifests itself frequently throughout Space Invaders: Infinity Gene, and it is this embrace of change that ultimately works to its credit.
Progressing through Space Invaders: Infinity Gene requires players to embrace both the familiar notion of using your ship to blast aliens and spaceships out of the sky, as well as a new concept of “evolution,” manifested in the game through the various upgrades that will be bestowed both on your ship and as a sign of progress.
As you progress through the game, your ship will have such abilities as maneuvering in multiple directions, shooting rapid-fire missiles, locking-on to foes, and firing dispersion rays to help eliminate the competition. Rewards will also arrive outside of the field of battle; continued progression results in additional options such as music mode, where you are able to play through the game with tunes from your system’s hard drive. Other modes that become available through continued play include Bonus Mode, where you can play through stages that are unlocked from the game’s Normal Mode, and Challenge Mode, where has randomized levels.
However, for all the efforts and “evolutions” that this iteration of Space Invaders makes in terms of gameplay, it is regrettably not present in the game’s audiovisual presentation. Credit goes to Tatio and Square-Enix for staying in the Space Invaders spirit and opting to go with retro graphics and music. The efforts present in Infinity Gene, on the other hand, pale in comparison to the efforts present in Space Invaders Extreme and its sequel, which were both on the Nintendo DS. These games managed to infuse, their environments with wacky combinations of crazy colors and backgrounds, while also including catchy tunes. Differences aside, what is present is serviceable, and does its part to lend its own unique personality to the game.
Audiovisual qualms aside, the release of Space Invaders Infinity Gene is a testament to the fact that retro gaming is alive and well, and is a worthwhile investment for any fan of the Space Invaders franchise, or for individuals that still live in the old annals of gaming’s past.
Space Invaders: Infinity Gene is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for mild fantasy violence This game can also be found on Xbox Live Arcade.