Native American Super Team Re-Create Atari Classic (Play It on Your Phone!)

It’s no secret that I’m enamored by contemporary Native American artists. These brilliant, creative minds are mixing their heritage into a global exchange of ideas. And the results are amazing. So this game has got me really excited.

Invaders 2015 is a remix of the Atari classic Space Invaders. Except instead of controlling a military cannon to shoot alien invaders, your character is a plains warrior armed with a bow and arrows.

Invaders 2015 was designed by this Native Dream Team: Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa, Choctaw) designed the art. Elizabeth LaPensée (Anishinaabe, Métis) designed and programmed the game. Trevino Brings Plenty (Lakota) created the intense soundtrack.

Gameplay includes catching a rapid fire powerup.
Gameplay includes catching a rapid fire powerup.

The graphics here are brilliant. There a seamless mix historic photography and 8-bit video game graphics. The gameplay is straight to the point. You’re here to put arrows in aliens. Once the app is running, you’re shooting invaders within seconds. The incessant sound of arrows firing over the soundtrack brings a nice level of intensity to this game.

Let’s step back and give some perspective to why this is so cool. A century ago, the US Government was actively trying to squash American Indian Culture. We’re talking about an incredibly resilient culture that survived that oppression. Next, think of the innovation of computers and the culture of arcade games. The first arcade games started appearing in the late 1960’s. It’s a technology that’s barely 50 years old. In 1978, Japanese game designer Tomohiro Nishikado, released Space Invaders in Japan. Shortly after, it was released in the United States.

So when you play this game, take a brief moment to remember you are enjoying the fusion of Japanese and Native American cultures on a technology that has existed for less than half a century. Stellar.

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