Ever since it started rocking arcades in 1978, "Space Invaders" has been a video game staple, steadfastly refusing to evolve as other trends came and went. Its simplistic charm -- oft-copied but rarely surpassed -- has been incalculably influential.
Staying relevant has been another, tougher story.
"Space Invaders Forever" is the latest attempt to inject some new life into the old bones, rounding up three games in an effort to revitalize the ancient concept.
The results are largely satisfying, particularly on the form of the main event, "Space Invaders Extreme," which follows the lead of "Pac-Man Championship Edition" to add new layers of strategy and playfulness to the 16-level mix, complete with boss fights and hidden surprises. By far the most entertaining and replayable of the three included modes, the fevered blast-and-dodge routine rarely goes stale.
The dev team at Taito Corporation had middling success with its other components: "Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders: and "Space Invaders Gigamax 4SE." The quick-hit, party game-style feel works best in quick hits.
The overall lack of online multiplayer is an unfortunate, if understandable omission. "Space Invaders" is decidedly old school, and that sentiment continues in its latest release. "Forever" is a mixed bag that delivers the highs and lows of the concept, content to rest in orbit rather than shoot for the stars.
Publisher provided review code.