Space Instigators - Atari 2600

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$20.00

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Space Instigators is a version of the popular arcade game Space Invaders that is more faithful to the original than Atari's 2600 port. This version fits nine invaders in a row without flicker, an impressive feat on the Atari 2600. The graphics, colors and sounds are truer to the original version than Atari's effort.

Includes cartridge, and manual. Available in NTSC and PAL formats (please specify above when ordering).

Author Christopher Tumber
Number of Players 1
Controller Joystick
Cartridge Size 4K
Label Design Christopher Tumber
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Nathan Strum on 07/11/2009 04:20am
In Space Instigators, it's you against those pesky space-invading aliens again. Dodge their shots and shoot 'em all before they land or it's game over. And while this may all seem familiar, it's not quite the same game you remember playing on your 2600, or at the arcade.

Space Instigators is a homebrew version of Space Invaders written from scratch, with the goal of making a more accurate version than what Atari produced. Instead of just six invaders across, Instigators manages an impressive nine without any flicker. The sprites look closer to the original arcade version as well, although the bottom two rows aren't quite right, and the UFO that flies across the top of the screen is disproportionately huge. While the game looks pretty good on the surface, there are some shortcomings with it. First, the sound effects are dominated by a "popping" sound every time a shot hits something - like firecrackers going off. Second is the aforementioned UFO, which moves far too fast across the screen to really factor into the game; hitting it is more a matter of luck that anything. Third, there are no variations or options - just a single, one-player game. Finally, and most critical, is a limitation of the 2600 itself: the display area just isn't big enough. The aliens take up so much space, that it only takes the whole group a few steps to reach the edge of the screen, and within seconds of starting a game, they've already gone across and back. The strategy of moving into a clear area to pick off one column at a time suffers greatly, and while a large number of aliens may appear more arcade-like, the whole game feels out-of-proportion. Although an impressive programming feat, in the case of Space Instigators, more isn't always better.

The game comes in a plastic VHS tape box, with a nicely printed cover insert. At about 50ยข each, it's a good solution for affordable homebrew boxes. I didn't really care for the cartridge being held in place with Velcro, but having a box didn't have any bearing on this review one way or the other.
Daniel Miller on 12/29/2008 10:44pm
I tried Space Instigators. It's pretty cool. It looks a lot like the arcade, doesn't quite play like it. Space Invaders in the arcade, for those privileged to have played it, had invaders that marched sort of ominously. They seemed off in the distance in the arcade cabinet, yet their presence was looming. The music was very deep, it seemed. And when they speeded up in their march, as you picked them off, you really felt the panic of what was coming, and when it was down to that last one, zipping back and forth on the screen, difficult to hit, that made your heart beat faster. Space Instigators has maybe a touch of that. The bonus UFO in Space Instigators, you must be on the opposite side of the screen to have any hope of hitting it. Once it flies past you you can't overtake it, because it moves exactly as fast as your gun. In the arcade you could just barely overtake it, but you could do it, so you might get a couple shots in. Definitely looks good though, does Space Instigators, and I think the play value is okay.
Brian Gordon on 02/24/2008 10:01pm
Hello here is my review for the game Space instigators.
For anybody that does not already know I would like to start by saying this game is Space Invaders. It is not identical but pretty dang close. I broke it down in to a few catagories, here we go.....
Graphics - Excellent. Reminds me of Space Invaders in the arcade, better then the 2600 version and I'll go as far as saying it is the best looking Space Invaders game that I have played for the 2600.
Sound - Nothing special but it is reminicent of the arcade. This is one of those games that doesn't need a lot of sound. The march of the invaders drawing in closer and the siren like sound of the UFO are great. The blast from the cannon sounds just like the arcade so I would say overall it's pretty good.
Gameplay - Perfect, it is Space Invaders as you remember it.
Presentation/artwork/cost - Pretty good, the box is a nice touch and the price is right.
Overall - I think this should be a must have in everyones collection. It won't be the most often played title in your collection but it's nice to play a few games on a Sunday morning before your Wife wakes up and gets on your case to do chores. This is also a nice one to show your friends that do not regularly play Atari since they will be familiar with the gameplay and will be excited to give it a try. I mean c'mon, who doesn't like a round of Space Invaders now and then, I know I do. I like to use a rating system of one to ten and this one gets a solid 8 out of 10 from me. Pick up the Space Invaders bundle and get ready to save the world!
Matthew Johnson on 04/03/2006 04:48pm
Space Invaders...but FAST. Make no mistake, these invaders are coming in quick. Your reflexes will be tested early and often as you try and stop their march. Very "arcade like" graphics will remind you of the old coin-op game you played back in the day. The box is a nice touch as well.
Raul Torres on 01/03/2006 10:21am
This is by far the best Space Invaders port for the 2600... nuff said.
Richard Gavarian on 11/27/2004 12:13am
Awesome game! Fully re-creates the Space Invaders saga and then some. I like the blue space ships. It reminds me of the arcade version of Space Invaders, which I would easily prefer over 4k cartridges. I like the low detailed space ships, and the cool sounds. Also, comes with a cool "blockbuster" type box with original 2600 box design. A must-buy for any serious Atari 2600 collector.

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