War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds

Vectrex cart and packaging.

Developers Cinematronics (Arcade)
George Pelonis (Vectrex)
Publishers Cinematronics (Arcade)
FURY (Vectrex)
Systems Arcade
Release Dates 1982 (Arcade)
June 5, 2011 (Vectrex)
Modes Single player, two
players alternating (Arcade)
Single player only (Vectrex)
Media ROM file (Arcade)
Cartridge (Vectrex)


War of the Worlds was initially an arcade game. It was released by Cinematronics both for a black and white vector monitor in 1979 and for a color vector monitor in 1982. The game saw extremely limited production because it was not received well at the 1982 Amusement Machine Operators of America (AMOA) Show due to a perceived lack of difficulty and insufficient hardware to run it. Less than 10 units are believed to exist.

The Vectrex version is a port of the arcade original, although with several added features, such as two skill levels, an added pause/status screen and a mothership to contend with in addition to its use of a joystick rather than buttons to control movement. It's the fact that the original vector arcade version was so rare that it attracted George Pelonis to program this port.

Vectrex versionEdit


The player controls a turret pod as Martian tripods advance with the only objective but to annihilate. Martian tripods attack with sweeping laser cannons while the player can either dodge or defend themselves using shields. The player may fire upon the tripods but it requires four hits before they are destroyed.

Between waves of tripods, the Mothership will descend and shoot an onslaught of shurikens. Only the shurikens may be destroyed, as the player's fire is not powerful enough to harm the Mothership.


  • Destroy Tripod-20 points
  • Destroy Shuriken-10 points
  • Destroy all the Shurikens during the battle with the mothership to restore all droids and shields


Main Menu

  • Start game (Medium)–button one
  • Start game (Easy)-down with joystick/D-pad plus button one
  • Start game (Hard)-up with joystick/D-pad plus button one
  • Choose between easy or default levels–up or down or joystick or D-pad (during start of a new game only)
  • Start game (Easy)-down with joystick or D-pad plus button 1


  • Move droid left or right-left or right on joystick/D-pad
  • Status/pause–button two
  • Shield–button three
  • Fire–button four


  • The arcade original was a little-seen game that did not have much distribution.
  • The premise of War of the Worlds is considered that of a 3D perspective Space Invaders.
  • With the Vectrex release, a watch was included with the mothership on it for the limited edition War of the Worlds Time Rift version, which is the exact same game as the wider-released version, but with a hyperspace-like function where the player's ship will disappear and then reappear after a few seconds when activated. Only 10 copies of this version was made, coming in a special boxed set.


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