Most games that have “extreme” or such derivations in their titles are almost invariably not. This latest entry into classic territory actually is. Space Invaders Extreme starts off as the classic game does, with a space craft darting left to right. New alien types of different colors and sizes have been thrown into the mix to vary the gameplay a bit. Alien colors come in a variety of colors; defeating four of any color alien other than white nets a power up: red turns the player’s shots into bombs that hurt enemies in proximity to the blast, blue enables a devastating beam that tears through entire columns, green changes shots into a wide-area type that can hit multiple enemies at once, and black enables a shield to guard the player from damage.
This might all seem relatively basic, but defeating 4 aliens of one color followed by 4 aliens of another color, not including whites, makes a flashing saucer glide across the top of the screen. Shooting this saucer enables Round mode, a mini-game where the player is given an objective, i.e. shoot down 8 saucers, destroy 15 invaders, etc, in a certain time frame. If the player fails, the gameplay reverts to normal. If the player clears the Round, then game enters Fever mode. During Fever mode, the player is given temporary use of one of the three subweapons and is instructed to destroy as many aliens as possible. The more aliens shot down, the higher the Fever bonus.
The saucers mentioned earlier that enable Round mode also come in different colors: white which act as normal, blue which fire a laser beam, green which drop more aliens on the field, red which immediately begin Round mode much like flashing saucers, and yellow which start the roulette minigame. During the roulette, several color aliens spin around. Depending on which color is hit, the player gets different awards.
Each stage consists of a number of waves of aliens followed by an encounter with a boss. Bosses range from simply being larger versions of other aliens to multiple aliens that can combine together to make an STILL larger one with very specific weak points. It’s fair to say, for being a 30-year-old concept, the variety of enemy types is quite staggering in this game.
The multiplayer experience is unfortunately limited only to local wi-fi, unlike the game’s DS counterpart. Battles are fought by clearing as many waves of enemies as possible. The game ends when one player loses all their lives. Simple, yet very fun. The game experience itself cam be likened to being like the classic Space Invaders with more enemy types, and a dynamic that one might expect from a Lumines game insofar that the game action matches up with the rhythm of the music and makes it very trance-like. The game is fast, frantic, and certainly worth adding to your collection.