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What's it all about?
Space Invaders Infinity Gene is a super-stylized, retro arcade shooter made exclusively for iPhone, with XBLA and PSN versions in development for later release. I'm going to assume that the vast majority of you have already played at least one version of Space Invaders at some point in your life, as playing games from this era is almost a right of passage as a child. But just in case; Space Invaders is a simple game concept in which a single ship must fend off wave after wave of constantly approaching enemies moving down the screen towards you. If all the enemy ships are not destroyed before reaching the bottom, the game is over. If the defender's ship is destroyed by enemy fire the game will also end.
As it's not a new game formula, like Doodle Jump or Fruit Ninja, you may be asking yourself why we'd want to revisit this old-school game formula. Well, thankfully developer Taito was thinking along the same lines, as the game is really nothing like its old self. Space Invaders Inifinty Gene is presented in a super-retro visual style that borrows exact replicas of assets found in the original arcade game.
Other features of the game have received major changes though, such as the ability for the defender's ship to move anywhere on the screen, instead of being confined to a single vector across the bottom, as well as collectible upgrades.
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Graphics, Audio and Verdict
As I've said, the game will definitely look familiar to fans of the original arcade game, or any of the dozens of ports that have been done for almost every video game system over the years. That doesn't mean it isn't without its surprises though, as you play through the many different levels you'll notice cool effects like colorful background scrolling and even fully 3D rendered enemies. Your ship has had quite a makeover as well, and one of the first mini-cinematic scenes in the game is watching your ship undergo its transformation.
Everything in the game is done with that same spirit in mind. Even the menus are handled with a minimalistic black and white touch. It is certainly a retro trip, and anyone who is a fan of those old school classics will definitely find what they're looking for.
The audio is handled in a similar fashion. All the old school bleeps and bloops are pleasantly in place, but this time the entire soundtrack has gone through an electronic facelift. It works well with the 80's sci-fi vibe that the entire game oozes, and helps immerse you a bit more in it.
As far as a recommendation as to whether this game should have a spot reserved in your iPhone's game library, the answer isn't a simple yes or no. If you appreciate what the game is trying to do, and will be able to fully enjoy the ultra 80's arcade vibe, it is simply a no-brainer. There's no way you're going to find a more satisfying nostalgic experience than Space Invaders Infinity Gene. However, if you weren't familiar with, or perhaps not even a fan of, the original game, you should probably give the Lite version a try first, before you make a decision.