Friday, December 25, 2009

Beaten : Alien Invaders - Plus

Every Christmas, I sit down for a few minutes with the Odyssey 2 game Alien Invaders Plus, the first game I got (other than the console's pack-in game Speedway/Spinout/Crypto-Logic) for the system, twenty eight years ago today. I play the game each year until I beat back the alien horde, which isn't too hard.

Alien Invaders Plus is the Odyssey 2's answer to Space Invaders, and it's nowhere near as good. Each wave of invaders the player faces count as a round. Beat ten rounds or lose ten lives and the game is over. The three rows of aliens consist of a small barracade row, which is indestructable, a gun, and an alien soldier. Shooting either the gun or the soldier stops them from shooting you, but the round only ends when all the soldiers are dead and the mother ship is destroyed.

The only other unique aspect of Alien Invaders Plus is the fact that once your gun, depicted at the bottom of the screen as a pyramid, gets hit, you flee as little soldier yourself, vulnerble to alien fire. If you get to one of your three barracades unhurt, you can transform it into another gun and keep fighting.

The firing patterns and movements of the invaders all came back to me after a few minutes, no doubt stored in my brain all these decades, and I again beat back the aliens. I'm sure they'll be back next year, though.

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