So, after 8-Bit Armies and Hordes, it was only fair that I took on the challenge of reviewing the third instalment, 8-Bit Invaders. This time out Petroglyph Games let us take on the role of the marines or cranioids as we look to stop the invasion or complete it.
If you have played either of the previous instalments, then you pretty much know what to expect but in case you haven’t then let me get you caught up. This strategy-based game has you constructing varying units and buildings as you progress through a campaign. Most missions rotate around between destroying certain buildings and units or surviving for a set time. Difficulty wise, you won’t be rage quitting any time soon.
As before there are no skill trees to master. Units don’t have loads of upgrade points to them. Your marine is your marine, simple. Having more then one of a certain building gives that building type a boost, mainly for faster unit building times. My approach to this game has always been build 100 units and see what happens. That might not be for everyone, but I enjoy the simple but extremely fun chaos this brings.
Each story mission has 3 levels of difficulty with a set requirement to complete and more aggressive enemies. Completing the missions on each of these difficulties unlocks more units and buildings to use to get through the story. I have mentioned this before but unlocking these units gradually is key to helping you get 3 stars on each mission. Trying to get 3 stars too early will be too much of a challenge.
It is listed as a strategy game, but it maintains a simple gameplay approach. An approach that has been perfected over these three instalments. Invaders has the same approach that I enjoyed so much from the previous two. The gameplay isn’t deep but can still be a challenge. The fun comes from putting together 100 units and crushing your enemy as you explore the map.
The 8-bit graphics were great in the previous games and if anything, they look even better in this one. It might be the cool orange mechs that seem to suit these graphics more or the bright cranioids that pop. Once again, the maps are full of extra details that are well worth taking the time to look at. I am sure I came across a Dr Who telephone box at some point.
It is hard to not see the references to the old Mars Attacks film. Units saying ‘We come in peace’ as you attack always put a little smile on my face. The colourful cranioids have some great units as well. War of the World like walkers, large head aliens and of course UFOs. The mechs look great as well. I found the larger units really look fun in this design.
Once again, the game maintains the control scheme of the previous games. It works so why change it? Slight difference from Hordes is there is no base upgrading in Invaders. Not a massive change but it just takes the game back to basics. Regardless of your previous experience with 8-Bit games, they are so easy to just pick up and play. You can easily enjoy yourself in any one of these games regardless of which one you pick up.
If you play all three, then yes, they are all the same. Menus are the same, controls work the same and the campaign is set up in similar ways. The fact there is no real story in each of the games to break them up doesn’t help. However, having played all three I can honestly say I was fine with that. Playing with different unit types is fun. It offers enough to feel like a different game if you take the time to appreciate the different units and maps you are playing in.
Once again Petroglyph Games have taken what they know is simple and fun and added mechs and UFOs. The game is simple to pick up and enjoy regardless of how much time you have. I enjoyed crushing through the map with 100 units. Yes, it doesn’t offer a deep strategy play style but it makes up for it in charm and enjoyment.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*