Saturday, January 12, 2013

Nintendo Space Fever (スペースフィーバー, 1979)

When Taito's Space Invaders burst onto the arcade scene in the Summer of 1978, it became a runaway success. Multiple other arcade manufacturers quickly jumped on the bandwagon, including Nintendo.

In early 1979, Nintendo released an arcade game that was - let's say - inspired by Taito's space shooter. It was called Space Fever (スペースフィーバー).

Space Fever was a black and white game, that was an adequate copy of the original, but with very little to distinguish itself.

Nintendo Space Fever (1979)

It was all there: the marching aliens that are dropping bombs, the ship at the bottom of the screen firing up, as well as four bunkers that provide temporary shelter.

Space Fever offered three game modes ('Game A', 'Game B' and 'Game C'), with different marching patterns for the aliens. The game could be played by one or two players.

The exact release date was 18 January 1979.

Full Space Fever leaflet (front, back)

Later on in 1979, Nintendo would follow-up Space Fever first with Space Fever Color and then with a number of more original space games, like SF-Hisplitter and Space Launcher.


  1. This game changed videogames history... since it sold very poorly, Nintendo had a lot of spare Space Fever arcades, and so they asked Miyamoto to design a game (his first one) with that same hardware to recycle the cabinets... and so Donkey Kong was born.

    1. Almost true. Yes, Donkey Kong was created to replace a poorly selling game. But that game wasn't Space Fever, but the game Radar Scope, from end of 1980. When large stock of Radar Scope did not sell in the USA, many of those machines were converted to Donkey Kong.

    2. Uh, seems like I made a Space Fever/Radar Scope mash up in my head :)

  2. I have a space fever and they are quite common
    In England in the last year I have seen 7 up for sale on eBay , although none of them were in working condition .
    I do have a working example and its a cracking game
    If you like space invaders your like this .