Garden Invaders


Developers Atari (original)
Jamcat (hack)
Publishers Atari, Sears (original)
Freeware (hack)
System Atari 2600
Release Dates 1980 (original)
2005 (hack)
Modes Single player
Two players alternating
Two players simultaneous
Media Cartridge (original)
ROM file (hack)


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.

Garden Invaders is a graphical hack of the 2600 version of Space Invaders, having changed game sprites, as the invaders, players' laser cannons, and the Command Alien Ship (which is now a bat) look different, as they were all changed to an outdoor theme. The bunker shape was also changed to resemble mushrooms and players' laser cannons are now cans of pesticide.

Game variationsEdit

  • Moving Shields--mushrooms move back and forth
  • Zigzagging Laser Bombs--Invaders' shots zigzag back and forth towards the earth
  • Fast Laser Bombs--Invaders' bombs drop quickly
  • Invisible Invaders--Invaders are invisible unless one (or the bat) is shot, which they then briefly reappear
  • Large pesticide can--flipping a difficulty switch on the 2600 console to the A position makes players' cans twice as large

Game variations, player setupEdit

There are two player alternating variations, along with variations to not only have both players onscreen at once, but there are also several competing variations as well, such as ones where if one player gets hit by Invaders' fire, the other player is awarded 200 points. Others include alternating shots where if one player takes too long to fire their can then it will automatically shoot.

Other variations include ones where one player controls the can, along with one player can only move the can to the right, while the other player can only move it to the left. Other variations allow one movement and one shot per player, then the other player gets to do the same, and others have one player move the can while the other player fires.


  • Row 1 Invader--5 points
  • Row 2 Invader--10 points
  • Row 3 Invader--15 points
  • Row 4 Invader--20 points
  • Row 5 Invader--25 points
  • Row 6 Invader--30 points
  • Bat--200 points, or 100 points in certain game variations
  • Other player's can hit--200 points awarded to other player on certain competitive game variations


  • Move can--joystick (left/right)
  • Fire--button


  • The original game came with several label variations, which are known as Picture, Text, Red, and Silver labels. This version comes as a ROM file only to be played on Atari emulators or multicarts.
  • The fourth row Invaders are the scorpions from the Atari 2600 game Pitfall! and the fifth row Invaders are the spiders from Centipede.


Atari Age Garden Invaders page

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