A Disappointing Port of Space Invaders

Space Invaders on the Game Boy isn’t anything special. It is a port of the arcade game with a few graphical upgrades. It is a short game, and the multiplayer mode requires a second Game Boy, link cable, and cartridge.

TLDR: This is a port of the arcade game from 1978 with minor graphical upgrades.


There is no story in the game. The player isn’t told what is happening or why. You’re in a ship and shooting aliens.

This was common for arcade games in the 70s and 80s. The gameplay was all that mattered, and there wasn’t enough time to explain what was happening. The player had to use their imagination to fill in the gaps if they chose to do so.

The manual might have a story in it. A similar thing was done with the Atari 2600 game. I don’t have the manual, so I can only guess there might be something to add meat to this bare-bones port of Space Invaders.


This is classic Space Invaders. It would have been better if there was more to this game. The game has two modes, but the vs. mode is limited due to needing another Game Boy and a link cable.

Like the arcade game, enemies are arranged on the top of the screen and slowly move towards the bottom. The player’s ship is on the bottom of the screen and is limited to moving left and right.

Your goal is to shoot all of the enemies before they reach the bottom of the screen or before you lose all your lives. The game gives you three lives per game, and you can earn more by gaining points.

You need to shoot all of the aliens before they reach the bottom of the screen or shoot you. There are five barriers above your ship. You can use these as cover while shooting the aliens.

There is no win condition for a game like Space Invaders. You’re trying to get a high score and then beat it on your next playthrough.

The developers didn’t add anything to this port. In future releases, some effort would be made to add more value to games like this. Unfortunately, this is simply a direct port of an arcade game.


There isn’t anything special here. It looks better than the Atari 2600 and arcade versions of the game. It would have been a problem if it didn’t because this port came out about 15 years after the arcade release.

The animation of the explosions and alien movement looks good. The Game Boy was capable of more than the arcade game, and parts of this port show off how far video game technology had advanced.

The best thing I can say about the graphics is that they do the job. You can see the enemy shots coming, and the graphics don’t mess with the gameplay. It isn’t going to blow you away, and it looks like an average Game Boy game.

6.5/10. This is an uninspired port of Space Invaders. The graphics and gameplay are fine, but there isn’t anything else that might elevate this game.


  • Pick up and Play
  • Decent Graphics
  • Fun distraction


  • Lack of Game Modes
  • Repetitive Gameplay
  • No Story


As an arcade game, Space Invaders is a fun game. However, people expected more from video games when this game was released. This could have been part of a Taito collection of two or three games.

Having only one game mode is a big negative for this game. There is a two-player mode, but it is restrictive due to additional hardware requirements. The Game Boy Color version added more than just colors. With this version of Space Invaders, something else could have been added. I was disappointed with this version of the game. It should have been much better than it was.

Published by Paul Werkema

Hi! I'm here to share my hobbies with all of you. I love video games and books, so I write about the books that cover video games or are novels about video games.

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