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Invader Attack

Score: 89%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Coder Games
Developer: Coder Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

Sometimes the simplest concepts are the hardest to reproduce. Take Space Invaders, for example. The web is littered with Space Invader clones, each as imperfect as the last. Some add rapid fire; others get the enemy waves wrong... the list is endless. At first glance, Invader Attack looks like the latest entry in this long list of clones, but the Space Invader resemblances end with the tank and invaders.

Invader Attack goes for a sort of late 90's rendered look. Though not incredibly impressive, they're more than effective at getting the game's point across - you're a tank/ ship taking out other ships with lasers. Every couple of levels the backgrounds change; sometimes showing off simple grey areas while other times displaying slightly more complicated metal plating. It's simple, but sometimes you don't need anything more.

Sound is the same. It's mostly a bunch of blasts, "clinks" and some atmospheric music, but everything fits the game's look.


Invader Attack plays off a familiar set-up. You're the tank at the bottom of the screen fending off waves of enemies dropping from the top of the screen. The concept is simple, as is gameplay - at least at first.

Compared to Space Invaders, Invader Attack is a more strategic shooter. Each enemy type has a different attack style. Some are fast, others slow. Some don't even move (or attack) at all. Additionally, enemy ships take a number of hits to shoot down. Okay, so where's the strategy?

Just shooting at enemies isn't enough to clear waves. Instead, you need to think through each wave. Each has a "good" and "best" strategy. Sometimes you can find a "Safe Space" and fire away, though this is usually the exception, not the rule. Each wave is different and the same strategy rarely works twice. It's a quick-fingered challenge for sure, though quick wits don't hurt either. Every ten waves or so, you'll have to go up against larger "boss" enemies, forcing you to come up with even more tactics.

Each wave ends with a bonus points and medals. You're graded on a number of parameters, including accuracy and the ability to not get hit (harder than it sounds).


A quick trigger finger will only get you so far. The key to most wave strategies is recognizing how waves move, or more importantly, react to one another. As enemies take damage, they'll begin to list and eventually plummet to the ground. One strategy is to keep shooting until the ship explodes, though you can also try to shoot them out of the sky and let the ground do the rest of the work.

Ships will also damage other ships on their way down, opening up the possibility for a downed ship to take out a few others on the way down. Though it may sound like a "cool trick," it's sometimes the only effective way to clear out some waves.

Game Mechanics:

The basics behind Invader Attack are easy, but it's not without its subtle complexities. In addition to the aforementioned "ships colliding with other ships" mechanic, you also have to deal with inertia. Unlike the tank in Space Invaders, your tank cannot stop on a dime. If you're going in one direction and suddenly need to drop into reverse, there's no guarantee you'll dodge out of the way.

Your tank's momentum is also affected by shots or anything else you might happen to run into during your mission. It's such a simple idea, but adds loads of strategy to an already strategy-filled game. It helps elevate a "simple shooter" to a fairly hardcore one.

Blasting enemies produces power-ups, most of which will help you take on waves. There are extra lives, health power-ups and rate of fire increases. The variety is decent, though a few new gun types or shot patterns would have been welcome. There are also a number of power-downs that can really throw things out of whack.

Invader Attack is a simple game, but still fun. At $9, it's a great pick-up for fans of shooters, particularly fans looking for something more strategy-minded.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

Minimum System Requirements:

OS: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, CPU: 1 Ghz, memory: 96 MB, 3D accelerated graphic card that supports OpenGL

Test System:

Windows Vista; 1.6 GHz Dual-Core processor; 2 Gig RAM; DVD drive; 120 GB HDD; GeForce Go7600

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox 360 Alien Breed 2: Assault Microsoft Xbox 360 Dead Rising 2

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated