8 Bit Invaders Review – Mars Attacks
Like 8 Bit Armies and 8 Bit Hordes, your mileage with Petroglyph’s console port of 8 Bit Invaders will vary. If you’re a fan of classic, Command & Conquer style RTS then you’re definitely going to have a good time.
If you’ve never played those older RTS titles, but you’re a sucker for some easily digestible, RTS-lite gameplay then 8 Bit Invaders will certainly hold your interest. Those players it’s not for are those without patience. Despite being quite simple, it still takes patience and time to learn the systems of 8 Bit Invaders.
If you don’t bother to do that, you might as well not play cause you’re not going to have much fun.
8 Bit Invaders Review
That being said, 8 Bit Invaders on PS4 (my console of choice) is great. It’s super easy to control and once you master the different inputs it plays like a dream. I will note though, similar to how Jackson felt playing 8 Bit Hordes, it does get a bit unwieldy when you have multiple groups of dozens of units. It’s hard to pick those you want to control and those you don’t.
In these Petroglyph re-releases on console, when you build a unit you assign it to either circle, triangle or square. From that point forward, that unit is attached to that button. When you press the button, you select all of the units that were created for that button.
What this means is that you need to plan ahead when you create groups. I made the mistake of spamming the square button with standard alien soldiers and space marines. When it came time for the big show, my vehicles were all set to another button and were left behind the action.
My recommendation is to mix it up. Put a bunch of different unit types together to make sure you’re always covered. If not, you’ll probably struggle. But not on the easiest setting, which is where I’m most comfortable.
Man vs Wild
Like the other 8 Bit titles, Invaders features two warring factions; the Galactic Marine Corps and the Cranioids. These two factions have access to similar units and buildings, though they’re flavoured and skinned differently.
However, the Cranioids do get access to Xenomorph-like monsters that leave behind deadly pools of acid when they die. Both armies have unique units and features like this and it does help make the campaigns different. Since, for the most part, you’ll be doing variations of the same thing when you play, no matter which side you choose.
Being a standard, classic RTS, in 8 Bit Invaders you collect resources, build buildings and construct units. The more you collect, the more you can build and the better units you can train. As you progress through the campaign you’ll unlock a variety of buildings and units with missions tailored to teach you how to use them.
Eventually, you’ll have the entire army ready to go and will be able to cause all sorts of havoc and mayhem.
Fight Amongst Yourselves
Once you’ve played through the campaigns, you’ll be ready to fight online or against your friends. 8 Bit Invaders includes a host of multiplayer options that give players heaps to do once they’re done playing alone.
In fact, I’m just going to steal the list of stuff you can do right from the official website.
- 24 offline campaign missions
- New ‘Conquer The Multiverse’ real-time strategic metagame scenarios providing for opportunities to invade new worlds
- Classic Base-Building mechanics let you construct the ultimate HQ from which to launch attacks against your foes
- Easy to understand advanced military and alien units and structures lets RTS beginners jump right in
- 10 co-op missions to play with your friends
- Destructible environments on maps ranging from small to very large
- 2-8 player battles against Human and AI opponents of varying skill levels
- A rocking soundtrack from composer Frank Klepacki
- Full cross-play with 8-Bit Armies and 8-Bit Hordes for those epic MEGA BATTLES between factions across games, and the Multiverse!
The ability to play Invaders with Hordes and Armies is really cool. As these games all share the same DNA, it makes sense to be able to play them against each other. That means playing in the Metagame will see you facing off against army men, orcs and knights. What more could you ask for?
Visually, the style Petroglyph uses for these games is great. It just suits it really well and reminds me of older games while still looking great in 3D. There’s very little visual clutter either and the UI works perfectly on console.
It’s the audio that’s the star of the show though. As Jackson mentioned when he played 8 Bit Hordes, the music is unreal. It’s 8-Bit inspired chiptunes, but it’s got a definite sci-fi flavour and it just gets the blood pumping, especially when you’re watching your horde of Cranioids eviscerate those pathetic Marines.
Overall, this is a great console RTS and another excellent port from Petroglyph. Definitely worthwhile if you’re a fan of the others.
8 Bit Invaders was reviewed using a digital code on PS4 provided by the publisher.
Game title: 8-Bit Invaders
- Great Soundtrack - 9/109/10
- East to use controls for a gamepad - 8.3/108.3/10
- Really similar to Hordes and Armies - 6/106/10
- Lots of fun with friends, less against AI - 6.3/106.3/10