Retro game review: Super Stupid Space Invaders

This was a game I discovered on dosgames.com.  It’s based on the classic Space Invaders arcade game, except it’s text-based and runs on MS-DOS.  I  downloaded it and started playing it in DOSBox.  First, the stats:

Creator: PLBM Games
Year: 1997
Graphics mode: ASCII
Download link: http://www.dosgames.com/dl.php?filename=http://www.dosgames.com/files/sssi.zip

I found this game to be extremely entertaining and fun to play. It’s a fast-paced game with exciting text-mode graphics and good-old 8-bit sounds. This is a game that truly brings me back to the 90’s and my older brother’s Apple ][c.

In this game there are two players. The players take turns fighting waves of aliens. You have multiple ships in this game, so if your ship gets destroyed, the game isn’t automatically over. For a game titled “Super Stupid Space Invaders” and deemed a “not-serious” game by its creators, this game is actually fairly complex, interesting, and well-written.

Here is a screenshot of the first level. This level looks basically like your typical arcade Space Invaders, except without the shields:

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Here is a screenshot of the second level, or wave:

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In this level, you have one space invader, and when you hit it, it splits into two more, those split into two more, and finally those each split into two more, so in the end you have sixteen invaders to contend with, and they all move very quickly – not just side-to-side but also up and down. This makes for very challenging game play.

All in all, I love this game. In fact I can’t think of anything not to love about it. It’s a fun game to play, and it brings me back to the good old days, and that’s why I love it.

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Some DOS games I’ve been playing

Today I’m going to talk about gaming. I’m gonna talk about fun and games. Specifically retro games that I’ve been playing in DOSBox and Boxer (a DOSBox clone for Mac OS X). Here are some of the games I’ve been playing:

Wolfenstein 3D

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This is a game set in World War II. You are an American soldier who has just escaped from a cell in an underground Nazi fortress, and you must make your way out of the fortress to retrieve the secret Nazi plans for the Allies. This is a FPS and was actually the first 3D game to reach any level of success.  I’ve only gotten to Level 2 so far.

Cyberdogs

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This is a 2D FPS where the goal is to collect a certain number of objects and find the doorway to the next level without being killed by an enemy.  There are actually two modes to this game – single player or two player, but I’ve only played single player.  I’ve found that the most effective way to kill bad guys is to just run at them with a chainsaw.  The first screenshot is from Level 1 and the second screenshot is from Level 2.

Commander Keen: Goodbye Galaxy

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This came free with my installation of Boxer.  It’s about a boy genius who has constructed his latest invention, a faster-than-light radio receiver, and has picked up plans to destroy the Milky Way.  This game is less about killing bad guys and more about bouncing around and eating candy.

Here’s something I found amusing.  If you don’t touch the keyboard for a while, Commander Keen sits down and starts reading a book.

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Nethack

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This is an ASCII game where you go through several levels of a dungeon in search of the Amulet of Yendor.  It’s an RPG that allows you to select your character’s race, occupation, and alignment.  I recently chose a samurai character, because I’m into Japanese culture.  I had stopped playing this game a while back, because my CPU fan started going crazy every time I did, but since then I have gotten one of those perforated boards to put my laptop on, and I no longer have that problem.