Space Invaders is a shooting arcade game released in 1978. The game was designed by Tomohiro Nishikado an employee of Taito. The game was licensed by Midway for production in the United States. The game had made sequels and been re-released on many consoles like the Atari 2600 version which became one of the first arcade game to be released on a console. Even the enemy alien pixel in the game has become a video game icon.
Tomohiro Nishikado had developed the game for more than a year. The original design had tanks and planes in it but Nishikado found out that the movements were to slow and made flying to hard.
He decided to use space theme in the game after seeing a magazine of Star Wars. He created the aliens to look like squids, crabs, and octopuses from the book, "The War of the Worlds." Nishikado could have fixed the speed of the game but he decided to keep the slow gameplay as a challenge. The original name of the game was Space Monsters but was changed to Space Invaders by the head of Taito. Nishikado was also inspired by the arcade game Breakout to create a game to complete stages in almost the same way.
The game is a two dimensional shooter game. The character to play as is a tank with a laser cannon. The goal is to defeat five rows of eleven alien invaders. They move back and forth horizontally as they approach the bottom of the screen. If they land on the ground it is game over or if you get hit by their firepower. There are four giant shields that protect you from enemy fire. The shields when hit will slowly be destroyed. A giant alien ship will sometimes fly across the screen and can be shot for bonus points.