Space Invaders is an arcade game classic. It was developed by Taito of Japan and licensed to Midway for U.S. release in 1978. Space Invaders quickly became a world-wide phenomenon. In Japan, the game not only had arcades dedicated solely to it, but also caused a national shortage of yens. Its popularity in the U.S. was evident when it began to appear outside arcades. Space Invaders cabinets could be found in malls, restaurants, drug stores, and other everyday places.
In Space Invaders, players controlling a spaceship must destroy lines of invading aliens ominously marching towards them. Players can move their spaceship laterally along the bottom of the screen as the attacking aliens approach from the top. Flying saucers, worth extra points, materialize onscreen every 25 seconds. As the game progresses, the aliens advance more quickly. Space Invaders is a game that cannot be won. The goal is to hold off the aliens as long as possible while racking up points.
In 1980, Space Invaders became the first video arcade game to be turned into a home version when it was ported to the Atari VCS. While this meant that the Atari VCS finally gained popularity, it also meant that video games were becoming more accepted in the home. Space Invaders revolutionized the video game industry by making video games a part of mainstream culture.