I find it hard lately to take screenshots of games for which I know screenshots and even well crafted home movies already exist. I also find it to be a little off-putting to my actually sitting down and trying to play a game, thinking "okay, I'll need to take some pictures of this". For now, I'm going to stop worrying about the visuals for these entries and simply "blog".
Invaders from Hyperspace (Odyssey^2, 1979)
Freaky game. You and your co-player are protecting two planetary systems from alien attack. The two systems each consist of four planets orbiting a central planet. At the start of a game, each player has a system colored to match their ship. The red ship starts out with four red planets orbiting a single red planet and the yellow ship starts out with the identical yellow compliment.
Two enemy ships, one colored purple and the other colored green, suddenly warp into the screen space and start shooting planets. Every shot that hits a planet cycles that planet through a selection of colors. Each enemy ship is trying to turn your planets to their color. In fact if you do nothing with your ship, (let it be destroyed or just land on a matching colored planet and stay there) the enemy ships will start to fight with each other regarding how the planets should be colored.
It's not all about decorating choices. Having a planet with a color that matches your ship gives you a place to hide and a place to resurrect after your ship is destroyed by either the enemies or your co-player.
Let's talk about your co-player, the little booger.
This is not a cooperative game. Your goal is to kill 10 of the alien ships before your co-player does the same. If that means knocking him out every chance you have in order to reach 10 kills, then so be it. No, there's no points for killing the other player, but it does take them out of the action for a little while and leave the tasty point causing alien ships all for yourself.
This game is more fun with another person, especially if they understand that it's nothing personal when you kill them repeatedly while leaving them no friendly planet on which to regenerate. This can be fun! While it sounds a little abusive, be aware that though you may have eliminated a place for your co-player to regenerate, chances are an enemy ship will make one for him as it shoots the planets and cycles them through their color pallettes.
Some cute touches to this game. If you run into a planet that's the same color as your ship, you get to "dock" with the planet and you are protected there. While you may be protected, however, you aren't earning any points. If you run into a planet that is a different color than you are, it results in your mutual destruction. You will eventually resurrect on a matching colored planet, but the planet you just ran into is gone for good. There are eight such destructable planets. The central planet of each of the two systems is invulnerable.
The goal of the single player game is to keep as many planets alive as you can while racking up the enemy kills to 10. Which means the best one can do on single player is not running into any planets and leaving all eight of them intact. It's not very difficult and much more fun to have a pain in the ass human controlled competitor trying to peg you every chance they get.
We had some fun with this game--particularly yelling at each other for changing a planet's color (we're a red planet! a peaceful planet! we don't want to be yellow!) and there was always an enemy ship, planet or co-player to avoid or fire at.
I'll give this game a "smile" rating, because we enjoyed it.