Google Gives the Classic Space Invaders Game an AR Upgrade

Leveling up to real-world surroundings

Wanna feel old? Space Invaders just turned 45. To celebrate, video game company Taito partnered with Google and UNIT9, transforming the OG title into an AR mobile experience.

Space Invaders: World Defense is far from the clunky, beloved 8-bit arcade hit of the '70s.

Positioned as a sequel to the original, it harnesses Google's ARCore Geospatial API to transform an average neighborhood into a region under alien attack. Players compete for the highest score as they eliminate invaders emerging from trees, buildings and various structures. Weather conditions, changing in real-time, factor into gameplay. That's a big upgrade from blocky space-beings moving horizontally on a black screen.

This 90-second video offers a peak at the mobile game:

Space Invaders: World Defense

"This is a game for everyone—capturing the nostalgic memories of older generations who played 45 years ago and the interest of new generations with the integration of new technologies & engaging game mechanics," the team at UNIT9 tells Muse. "We want to promote the power of Google's Geospatial API for real-world location-specific digital activations, beyond gaming, and for any brand experience tied to a geographic location."

Available for iOS and Android, Space Invaders: World Defense features updated weapons, sound effects and music for global markets including Europe, Japan and the U.S. Players can also change from "world dimension" to "invaders dimension" mode, pivoting from cityscapes to a completely digital 3D level.

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