Space Invaders…its role in establishing gaming as a past-time is not debatable. It is a quintessential title. However, it is just Space Invaders. Shoot down the alien ships before they either shoot you or “land”. Pretty straight forward and not too much in terms game design tips.
Probably the biggest thing that stood out to me was how the designers used slight variations on some of the core game mechanics to create different types of games. In the classic game, the alien bombs drop straight down and the players “shields” remain fixed. However, for the Atari there were different game modes where the bombs fell downwards in an erratic and unpredictable patterns or where the shields slowly cycled left and right. These slight variations on mechanics could be a good game design tip to note.
Having knocked over Space Invaders it was time for Kaboom….FAIL! Cart isn’t working. No worries, I’ll move onto Yar’s Revenge….FAIL! Cart isn’t working!!! Hmmm….looks like tomorrow I’ll be hunting down some isopropyl alcohol and trying to clean some carts. Hopefully this isn’t the sign of things to come.