War of the Worlds (video game)

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War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds Logo.png
War of the Worlds cabinet logo.
Developer(s)Tim Skelly
Designer(s)Tim Skelly
Platform(s)Arcade Game
Release1982 (Arcade)
Genre(s)Fixed shooter
Mode(s)Single player, 2 player alternating gameplay
SoundAmplified mono (one channel)
Displaymonochrome Vector

War of the Worlds was a monochrome vector arcade game created by Tim Skelly of Cinematronics in 1982. It is based on the H. G. Wells novel The War of the Worlds. There were two versions of this game, identical in gameplay but differing in graphics. The first version was released by Cinematronics in 1979, and featured black and white vector graphics. A color version was later made in 1982.

In terms of gameplay and graphics, and game was essentially a Space Invaders clone done using 3-D vector graphics. The player controls a tank object at the bottom of the screen and shoots towards the top of the screen at descending Tripods robots in a first person perspective. The player only has movement, cannon fire and shields to protect them from the Tripods' lasers.

The game was developed as a 3D version of Space Invaders but overcame the poor reception it received at the 1982 AMOA show. It was never put into wide production and a little less than ten actual units were made. Though different, the game was deemed too easy by some[who?] and games that are too easy do not receive much play. In addition to that the hardware was not fast enough to run the graphics at a good rate. The game experienced lags that made its control somewhat difficult and not exciting to play.

While it debuted on black and white vector monitors, the game was actually written for a color vector monitor.[citation needed]

The game is very rare, having been ranked a 3 out of 100 on the Nation Game Preservation Society, 100 being the most common and 1 being the rarest.


Review score
CGW1.5/5 stars[1]

A 1994 Computer Gaming World survey of strategic space games set in the year 2000 and later gave War of the Worlds one-plus stars out of five, advising readers to "curl yourself up with the book instead".[1]


  1. ^ a b Brooks, M. Evan (May 1994). "Never Trust A Gazfluvian Flingschnogger!". Computer Gaming World. pp. 42–58.

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