The Space Invaders Invincible Collection is possibly the largest collection of Space Invaders games out there, and it’s available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch. Time for a closer look at ININ Games’ latest retro treasure.
Just before Christmas last year, we reviewed Space Invaders Forever on a PS4, a collection that was also available for the Switch and contained three Space Invaders titles: Space Invaders Extreme, Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE and Arkanoid vs Space Invaders. All three return in the invincible collection, but if you held out last year then you’ll be happy to know that you get eight (!) additional titles this time around – though the set isn’t available on PS4 and some of those eight are simply alternate versions of each other.
Despite that, this is still an impressive collection of games by anyone’s standards, dating all the way back to the original 1978 arcade game, which comes in both its black and white and color variants – and yes, that counts as two games. From that same era, you also get Space Invaders Part II, Lunar Rescue and Space Cyclone. Lunar Rescue’s a bit of curiosity since it doesn’t look or feel anything like Space Invaders, but it was built on the same arcade tech/board so it’s an interesting addition for that reason.
After a very prolific first two years, with five titles released between 1978 and 1980, the franchise then jumps to the early nineties for a Space Invaders revival that kicked off with Super Space Invaders ’91 (a Japanese version called Majestic Twelve is also included). I still remember seeing this game for the first time and marveling at the animated intro, so for that reason alone it’s great to see and play it again. From roughly that same era we also get Space Invaders DX, a game that introduced other Taito IPs to Space Invaders in a parody mode, after which we see another leap forward to the games that were also included in last year’s collection.
These three games are every bit as fun as they were in Space Invaders Forever, but it’s a shame that other titles in the franchise (like Space Invaders Infinity Gene and Space Invaders Extreme 2 and Space Invaders Evolution) didn’t make the cut. Although Extreme, Gigamax 4 SE and Arkanoid vs Space Invaders are highlights of this collection, some players will already own them and it would have been nice to see a few other modern takes.
As per the norm in recent years, there isn’t a whole lot of historical/museum content here beyond a bit of reused artwork. For a franchise that goes back an amazing 43 years already, that’s a shame, even if it mostly serves a niche group of fans of arcade history. For casual fans, however, this is a great collection that offers excellent value for money if you didn’t jump on last year’s collection. If you did, then the main appeal is in the classic arcade era of Space Invaders, which is well represented.