Space Invaders: Invincible Collection came out in Japan early last year, followed by a physical release from Strictly Limited in North America last June. Later, a budget version of the game was released on the Switch and PS4 under the name Space Invaders Forever. But it isn’t until this week that the full Invincible Collection has been available digitally. Has it been worth the wait? Unfortunately, while it contains an number of historically-important and enjoyable games, Invincible Collection is an overpriced, incomplete package that continues the recent trend of disappointing retro compilations.
Booting up Invincible Collection presents you with a game selection screen reminiscent of last year’s Super Mario 3D All-Stars. You get a list of games with a little supplementary information, your high scores, and your place on the leaderboards, and that’s it. The game presents ten different Space Invaders titles, but really there are closer to eight. The first two are Space Invaders and Space Invaders, the latter of which is the color version of the original. Majestic Twelve and Super Space Invaders ’91 are two slightly different versions of the same game. Also included are Space Invaders Part II, Lunar Rescue and Space Cyclone (two games built on the Space Invaders circuitboard), Space Invaders DX, Space Invaders Extreme, and Space Invaders Gigamax 4SE. It’s also supposed to include Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders as a separate download, but I wasn’t able to access it as of this writing.
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So we’re talking about eight games (nine if you include Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders), most of which were released over thirty years ago, for full retail price — $59.99 USD. That might be excusable if Invincible Collection came with any supplementary materials, but the digital version of the package is barebones. Even worse, you can purchase Space Invaders Forever on the Switch for $29.99, which includes Extreme, Gigamax 4SE, and Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders. That means Invincible is essentially asking you to pay thirty dollars for half a dozen decades-old arcade games, all of which are easily playable elsewhere — hell, you can play Space Invaders in Google Calendar.
There’s a lot missing here, too. Infinity Gene, one of the best Space Invaders came ever made, isn’t present. Neither is Extreme 2, Space Invaders ’95, or the interesting Wiiware title Get Even, in which you take control of the invaders themselves. Even curiosities like the Virtual Boy Virtual Collection would have been welcome here, but you’ll have to emulate that if you want to play it today.
Don’t get me wrong — all of the games included here are still enjoyable, and Invincible Collection does include a few nice features, like the ability to turn your Switch on its side and play in Tate Mode, and to adjust your ship counts and other details. But I can’t recommend the package to anyone at full retail price. Pick up Forever on the Switch or just get Extreme on Steam.