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Space Invaders

Space Invaders — the original “shoot-em-up” video game — was released thirty five years ago this month.

The game was developed almost single-handedly by an engineer called Toshihiro Nishikado (西角友宏) at Taito Corporation in Japan. For the aliens in the game, he drew inspiration from the octopus-like creatures in the 1953 film The War Of The Worlds. This led on to various other sea creatures:

The octopus came first, so I thought, maybe I should try a squid and a crab. But then they didn’t look very threatening, so I kept trying to come up with something else.

Here are some of his original sketches:

If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, why not see how far you can get with this Flash version of the game. Use the left and right arrow buttons to move, and press the space bar to fire:


This version of Space Invaders is hosted by flashgames312.com

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Header image: Busy night-time traffic appears as trails of light in this long exposure shot of Akasaka-Mitsuke (赤坂見附) in Tokyo by user DarkFritz at Wikimedia Commons.

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