The Game: It’s quite simple, really. You’re the pilot of a ground-based mobile weapons platform, and there are buttloads of alien meanies headed right for you. Your only defense is a quartet of shields which are degraded by any weapons fire – yours or theirs – and a quick trigger finger. Occasionally a mothership zips across the top of the screen. When the screen is cleared of invaders, another wave – faster and more aggressive – appears. When you’re out of “lives,” or when the aliens manage to land on Earth…it’s all over. (Texas Instruments, 1981)
Memories: A straightforward, no-frills take on Space Invaders, TI Invaders trumped just about every other home computer version in terms of faithfulness to the source material. Its color graphics echo the full-color Space Invaders Deluxe coin-op very closely, moreso than Atari had managed at the time with its Atari 400/800 version of Space Invaders itself. There are even a few nice touches that give TI Invaders its own character: when destroyed, your cannon retreats into a rectangle representing an underground bunker, and another cannon is wheeled out of that bunker to replace it in battle. There’s also a scoring scale for the UFO saucers flying overhead; the closer you can hit to the precise center of the saucer, the more points you get.