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Pepsi Invaders

Pepsiinvaders

Developer Atari
Publisher Atari
System Atari 2600
Release Date 1980 (original)
1983 (hack)
Mode Single player only
Media Cartridge

Background/gameplayEdit

Space Invaders for the Atari 2600 was the first ever arcade to home game license, becoming a huge best seller, which it included 112 games with multiple playing variables. In the game, a group of invaders marched from one side of the screen to the other, dropping down a notch closer to the player’s laser cannon whenever they reached a screen edge, firing at the player’s cannon all the while. The player had three bunkers to take cover under, although they would become damaged with the player’s and invaders’ laser fire, then disappear altogether if the invaders came down too close, and if the invaders made it down to the very bottom of the screen, the player was "invaded" and the game would end (along with if the player lost all three of their laser cannons due to being shot by invaders would also end a game). A high-scoring Command Alien Ship would also fly overhead several times during a wave as well.

Pepsi Invaders is a hack of Space Invaders, with several changes made to the gameplay, along with it being for only one player and there only being one game. The Coca-Cola company had commissioned a game from Atari to give to their Atlanta office employees, limiting the print run to only 125 copies.

DifferencesEdit

Even though Pepsi Invaders has the same basic gameplay as Space Invaders, several changes were made, most notably in that the only game included ran on a time limit of three minutes; once those three minutes were up, the game would end. The player is allowed unlimited lives though, unlike with only three in the original. Once a game has gone down to the last 10 remaining seconds, the time (at the bottom of the screen) and laser cannon position indicators would flash, and the words "COKE WINS!" appears onscreen once time runs out. There is also no way to be invaded, as the invaders will travel to the row right above the player’s laser cannon, but not come down any closer.

Graphically, several sprites were changed, as the laser cannon is multi-colored, and the Command Alien Ship is made up of the Pepsi trademark colors from back then. The color of the Earth was changed as well, along with the majority of the invaders being made up of the letters "PEPSI" (plus the word "COKE" is at the top of the screen). What was originally the top row invader from the original game now appears at the furthest right vertical column. This is also the only invader that moves, as the invaders that make up the letters PEPSI only bob up and down, not showing any kind of animation at all otherwise. The point value for the Command Alien Ship was also changed as well from the original.

ControlsEdit

  • Move laser cannon–joystick left and right
  • Fire–button
  • Start game–game reset switch or joystick button

ScoringEdit

  • Bottom row invader–5 points
  • Row two invader (from bottom)–10 points
  • Row three invader–15 points
  • Row four invader–20 points
  • Row five invader–25 points
  • Row six invader–30 points
  • Pepsi ship–400 points

TriviaEdit

  • The original game came with several label variations, which are known as Picture, Text, Red, and Silver labels.
  • There was no box with artwork produced for Pepsi Invaders, as it just came in a styrofoam shell.
  • A further hack of this was made called Pepsi Wins, where Pepsi strikes back. Additional hacks include Ant Attack, Ed Invaders, and UFO #6.

LinksEdit

  • Pepsi Invaders Atari Age page
  • Atari Protos Pepsi Invaders page entry
  • Click on the tabber below for a review.

ReviewEdit

This is probably one of the stranger hacks out there, especially considering that a video game company hacked one of their own games!

This one doesn’t really make any sense, either: I can understand Coca-Cola doing a cute promotional take on the "Coke vs. Pepsi" wars from back then, but what’s the deal with the three minute time limit? Was that the average amount of time it took for a person to down a can of Coke back then? This kind of strips down any fun of playing a game of Space Invaders, especially since this only has one game, and its only for one player; the original is far superior in that respect of having two players and 111 more games than this does.

The only good this is for is for bragging rights if you own one of the very few copies and/or you need to sell it for the big bucks in case you get into financial trouble. 5/10

(review by Darrylb500)

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