Popeye Invaders


Developers Atari (original)
Nukey Shay (Space Invaders Deluxe)
Atari Dogs (hack)
Publishers Atari, Sears (original)
Freeware (hack)
System Atari 2600
Release Dates 1980 (original)
2004 (Space Invaders Deluxe)
2009? (hack)
Modes Single player
Two players alternating
Two players simultaneous
Media Cartridge (original)
ROM file (hacks)

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.

Space Invaders Deluxe, unlike most other hacks of the game in general, isn't just a graphics hack, as many changes were made: graphically, the Invaders were changed to look more like the arcade original, although they also changed colors as they dropped down a row. The Command Alien Ship's point amount would also be shown when shot, along with it's shape being changed, plus it glowed and had a moving midsection. The bunkers were also changed, double shots were automatically enabled, the Invaders' death animation were changed (back to the original's one frame of animation) and the "S. O. S.!" intermission in between each wave is also included, also like with the original (or Space Invaders Part II).

In turn, Popeye Invaders is a hack of Space Invaders Deluxe, although with the sprites changed into Popeye, who battles Bluto, Alice the Goon, and the Sea Hag[1] from the Popeye franchise. The bunkers also contain the letter 'S'.

Game variationsEdit

  • Moving Shields--Barriers move back and forth
  • Zigzagging Laser Bombs--Invaders' shots zigzag back and forth towards the ground
  • Fast Laser Bombs--Invaders' Bombs drop quickly
  • Invisible Invaders--Invaders are invisible unless one (or the Command Alien Ship) is shot, which they then briefly reappear
  • Large laser cannon--flipping a difficulty switch on the 2600 console to the A position makes players' Popeyes larger

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 Invader fire, the other player is awarded 200 points. Others include alternating shots where if one player takes too long to fire from their Popeye then it will automatically shoot.

Other variations include ones where one player controls one Popeye, along with one player can only move it 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 one Popeye while the other player fires.


  • Row one Invader--5 points
  • Row two Invader--10 points
  • Row three Invader--15 points
  • Row four Invader--20 points
  • Row five Invader--25 points
  • Row six Invader--30 points
  • Command Alien Ship--varies
  • Other player's Popeye hit--200 points awarded to other player on certain competitive game variations
  • Shooting bottom row Invader last--1000 points (see Trivia)
  • Shooting second from bottom row Invader last--500 points (see Trivia)


  • Move Popeye--joystick left and 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.
  • Like with the arcade original, there are secret bonuses awarded for shooting one of the bottom two invaders last during a wave.


  1. Atari Age forums post from the author.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.