Aliens Attack is a shoot ‘em up built in the mold of the classic arcade game Space Invaders. It features the horizontal side-scrolling shooting action and combines it with gameplay elements found in modern games. The premise stays the same, though: You’re a one-man army battling against waves of aliens. But this time, all the action takes place on the ground instead of outer space.
Just shoot and evade
The game does not offer you any background story on how the aliens were able to break through Earth’s defenses. It immediately throws you in the middle of the firefight without any explanation. Your character is fixed at the bottom of the screen and you can only move left or right, with your gun firing automatically as if it has a life of its own. All you really have to do is aim for the aliens that appear from the top of the screen.
The aliens aren’t just sitting ducks, though. They are constantly moving around and are equipped with different kinds of hardware like laser guns and time bombs. So, you have to be wary of their offensive capabilities, too. Some aliens are much tougher to take down, requiring more hits. You can easily differentiate the types of aliens based on their looks, making it easier to determine who needs to eat more of your bullets (or are they fireballs?).
Aliens come at you in waves, with a boss fight at the end of each wave. There is a progress bar that will allow you to check if the wave is about to end. You are given only three hearts/lives by default, so getting hit three times spells a game over.
All the goodies
Every time you kill an alien, you’ll notice that they drop medals. You can collect these medals by similarly shooting at them; if you leave them alone, they’ll disappear. The game keeps track of the number of medals you collected, as well as the number of aliens you killed. Aliens also occasionally drop first aid kits which recover your lost hearts (they don’t have any effect if your character still has three hearts).
The kill count is used to unlock new characters – one of them suspiciously looks like The Terminator. The game resets back to the first wave whenever you switch to another character. The medals, on the other hand, are used to buy additional equipment like a more powerful gun or grenades that can be used an unlimited number of times. The additional equipment can be used by all your characters (you don’t need to buy separately for each character), but you lose them if you get a game over. Medals also come in different variations, with the more fancy-looking ones counting for more, so you don’t necessarily have to collect medals in increments of one.
Once you’ve unlocked all the characters, the only challenge left is to rack up your kill count, which resets after every playthrough, so it functions as a high score system, too. But you do keep the total number of kills for the purpose of unlocking the other characters. You can also impose self-made challenges, like not getting hit for the entire playthrough. Aliens Attack is a great game if you’re looking for a shoot ‘em up that offers a bit more content. And if you’re quite creative in making up challenges for yourself, you’ll get lots of replay value out of the game.