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Google launches Space Invaders game to celebrate franchise's 45th anniversary


Space Invaders: World Defense logo
Image credit: Taito

Google has launched Space Invaders: World Defense, an augmented reality version of the game created in partnership with developer Taito, for mobile devices.

The game, which was developed for the series' 45th anniversary, sees players defend the real world from the titular and recognisable space invaders as they duck behind buildings in order to rack up a high score.

The game will feature social elements, Google said, which will let players compete with friends and other players nearby.

Here's an introduction trailer for Space Invaders: World DefenseWatch on YouTube

Although some missions in the game will take place in a parallel cyberspace dimension of the Space Invaders, your device must be compatible with ARCore in order to play. To play on an Android device, it must be running on Android 11 or above. For Apple devices, the minimum OS requirement is iOS 16.0.

Although Space Invaders: World Defense has been timed to coincide with the original game's release in 1978, it comes at a time when the AR market is struggling. Last month, Pokémon Go developer Niantic laid off a quarter of its staff and shelved development on its upcoming Marvel World of Heroes project. Although Pokémon Go and Pikmin Bloom will remain online, Niantic's latest licensed game NBA All-World will shut down on 22nd September, a mere nine months after it launched.

Apple's venture into AR has not been well received so far, after the company announced its Vision Pro headset with an eye-watering price tag of $3499. Apple has now reportedly scaled back its internal sales target for the Vision Pro, citing production issues, though it might have something to do with that price point too.

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