The iPhone's best neo-retro game: Space Invaders Infinity Gene

Taito's reimagining of its arcade classic is absolutely worth its $4.99 price.

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
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  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
2 min read

While Taito has already released an iPhone port of the original Space Invaders, we'd recommend you slide past that and buy, instead, a spectacular revamp that launched this week on the App Store by the name of Space Invaders Infinity Gene.

As you'll quickly see from the trailer above and gallery below, this shooter is Space Invaders in spirit and design, but in execution it's a full-fledged arcade onslaught of power-ups, boss battles, and a thumping techno soundtrack that pulses along perfectly. This isn't Taito's first reinvention of Space Invaders: its Space Invaders Extreme was received with warm reviews and a cult following, and currently lives on the Nintendo DS, PSP, and Xbox Live Arcade.

Infinity Gene is a port of a Japanese cell phone game, with more minimal line-drawn graphics than Extreme. The title screen is actually a direct port of the original Space Invaders, before transforming into a start menu that consists of a branching level tree. Based on how you perform across dozens of levels, new weapons variations and options will become unlocked. Your ship can move all across the board, unlike the original Space Invaders, and while your ship autofires, your finger can drag anywhere onscreen to move your ship around. This keeps your digits from getting in the way of the finely rendered artillery attacks.

One of the most exciting new features, something that extends the life of this title to the near-infinite, is Music mode. You can pick any song on your iPhone or iPod Touch to play along to, and Infinity Gene generates a unique level matched to your music. I'm not sure what the secret sauce is to this mode, but I took some screenshots to show what levels were created for some of the tracks that live on my own musically cluttered iPhone 3GS.

Infinity Gene is available now for $4.99, and it's easily one of the best neo-retro experiences on the iPhone yet.

Space Invaders Infinity Gene (iPhone/iPod Touch)

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