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The Space Invaders AR game now lets you play without using AR

The Space Invaders AR game now lets you play without using AR


Space Invaders: World Defense has a new indoor mode.

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In a promotional photo for Space Invaders: World Defense, three large Space Invaders aliens next to a person holding a Pixel smartphone.
Imagine this but not outside.
Image: Google

Google and Taito have added a new “indoor mode” to their Space Invaders AR game, according to a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday. In this new mode for Space Invaders: World Defense, the game autopilots your ship through a pregenerated world so you can focus on using your thumb to shoot the aliens.

The new indoor mode was kind of fun for the few minutes I messed around with it. The game has a charming wireframe-y vibe, and mashing the screen to blast the Space Invaders was satisfying. I’m not a huge fan of waving my phone around outside to play a game, so I appreciate that this indoor mode is an option.

That said, the launch of an indoor mode may not be the greatest sign for a game that just came out last month. AR phone games outside of Pokémon Go have largely struggled — even Niantic, which makes Pokémon Go, recently shut down games based on the NBA and Marvel. So far, World Defense doesn’t seem to be a hit; on the US App Store, it has just 27 reviews, and on Google Play, it has around 300 reviews and 50,000-plus downloads.