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Space Invaders and the Android Market
The Android Market is slowly filling up with new games. As Android devices are becoming increasingly powerful and capable of running more enhanced games, it is sometimes nice to look back and see what has been ported in the field of arcade gaming. One hugely popular arcade game that is (over-) represented in a variety of forms in the Android Market is Space Invaders. Read on for an overview of the five most prominent varieties of this ‘ancient’ concept.
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Radiant is probably the best version of the Space Invaders concept on the Android platform. The reason this version stands out of the crowd is because the developer wanted to create something new and original while still presenting a ‘classic’ Space Invaders game. The game looks seemingly simple but does offer extras as compared to other versions in the market. For instance, the graphics are the best yet in any of the Space Invaders games. Also the aliens move quickly through the screen and hitting them has become a lot harder. Together with possibilities to upgrade your guns and a nice variety in level design, this is the most dynamic Space Invaders experience in the Android Market. Radiant is the game of choice for those that like a fun and new twist to the original Space Invaders concept.
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Galaxia is a Space Invaders-like game that is best described as a cross between the above-mentioned ‘Radiant’ and the original Space Invaders. Like Radiant the game is faster and more dynamic than the original, with the Aliens racing through the screen. However, Galaxia wants to stay true to the original with the aliens eventually finding their ‘original’ spot, after which the game resembles the original again. Whereas Radiant managed to beat the repetitiveness of the original, with clever level design, Galaxia seems to inherit this part from the first Space Invaders version. Its concept is just not challenging enough to truly be the new Space Invaders. However, it is good in what it does and the game never looks or feels unpolished. It’s different to the original, but with Radiant being an option as well, Galaxia is outdone already.
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Invadroid is a version of Space Invaders for Android that looks the most like the original version of the game, without being it. As with the original, several rows of aliens must be wiped out with the space ship in order to progress through the levels. The controls are relatively easy with a right/left and shoot button. The game can be controlled with the trackball as well. Graphics are not very impressive but are good enough to enjoy the game anyways. In terms of gameplay there is not much added as compared to the original Space Invaders, which is simple enough as it is. Invadroid is a fun time killer, although alternatives that do add something new will probably keep the user occupied a bit longer.
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Android Invaders is the original Space Invaders. This becomes evident after opening the game. To be able to play the game a Space Invaders ROM most be imported and saved. Luckily Android Invaders will do this for you, so that the game can be played quickly.
Android Invaders is definitely the preferred game for everyone who is nostalgic for Space Invaders. The retro aspect of the game is enhanced by little tweaks. For instance, to start a new game, a ‘coin’ must be inserted, after which the player has to choose a one or two player game. The game is played in an arcade ‘box’, although a full screen mode can be enabled as well. Controls are simple, with the game using the screen tilt for movement. This can be changed to joystick-like controls as well. All in all Android Invaders provides a retro gaming experience that will last just for that reason. Space Invaders is obviously outdated in its original form and for a lasting gaming experience you will soon be looking for an alternative with richer gameplay.
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Although bearing the name of the original it is not the best version in the Android Market, nor does it resemble the original too much. Like with Radiant and Galaxia the game tries to present its own interpretation of the original, however, unlike those two, this game is quickly put together with, by default, outdated graphics. The gameplay is also not very challenging as only three levels are available (easy, medium and hard). The concept is like any Space Invaders game: eliminating aliens. However, the graphics are so static and the gameplay is so slow, that the game is not rewarding at all. Not even creating any sense of nostalgia, the game does not add anything to the genre and therefore is not relevant. It is better to stick with any of the four above-mentioned alternatives.
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The Definitive Space Invaders Game on Android
Although there is a variety in concepts in the five described games, the obvious choice for a definitive Space Invaders game on Android is Radiant. This game is the most dynamic proof of an old concept made into a new entertaining gaming experience. A good choice for the more nostalgic Android owners would either be Invadroid or Android Invaders. Either way, Space Invaders devotees have nothing to complain about when it comes to availability of their beloved game on the Android platform!