Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Indie Nation #5: Sonic Invaders

5:08 PM on 02.08.2008 // Anthony Burch

You have never, ever played anything like Sonic Invaders.


Why, you ask? What makes Sonic Invaders so special, especially when compared with the epic action-RPG parody that was Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden? How could Sonic Invaders possibly manage to outdo last week's Indie Nation in terms of originality or fun factor?

Well, for starters, it's a game for blind people. That doesn't mean that you can't play it, of course -- you don't have to be blind to enjoy it -- but it was initially created with the sight-impaired in mind.

Given that this free game provides one of the most unusual gaming experiences available , you have every reason to download this game and try it out. Should you need some convincing, however, I'll meet you after the jump.

Developed by a Greek composer named Aristides Mytaras, Sonic Invaders is the first audio-only game I have ever played. There's evidently a bunch of them, all of which I hope to try out at some point or another, but as Sonic Invaders was my first it'll be Sonic Invaders I recommend.

In order to play Sonic Invaders, you absolutely must use headphones. It's simply not possible otherwise. I'll explain how that works into the gameplay later; for now, let's focus on the story.

The narrative, told to the player by a very low, very distorted human voice, may be one of the creepiest things I've yet experienced from an indie title (and that's counting Penumbra: Overture). Essentially, the player is told that in the 21st century, alien invaders attack the planet who can only be destroyed through sonic pulse weapons. The narrator then goes on to inform the player that no matter what, the aliens eventually win and the human race is exterminated; what you are playing is merely a retelling of the events of that war.

I know that doesn't sound very creepy written out, but just imagine this voice speaking directly into your ear about the death of everyone on Earth while really, really haunting music plays in the background and tell me you don't feel a little unnerved.


So, basically, it's Space Invaders with no graphics. In fact, the above screenshot is the only thing you will ever see once you start playing the game.

Control-wise -- and this is why you need the headphones -- your job is to shoot down alien ships as they approach from seven different directions. The X, C, and V keys fire at 90, 60, and 30 degrees respectively, while the N, M, and comma keys do the same thing for the right headphone speaker. The space key fires straight up and the B key initiates your shields, with which you can deflect enemy fire.

At first, the game seems relatively easy. You hear a ship approaching at a 30 degree angle, so you hit V. Zap, boom. Done. Then another ship approaches. Then another. And another. You frantically try to remember which keys do what as you focus entirely on your sense of hearing, trying to pinpoint the exact angle each enemy ship is coming at. Things get even more complicated when enemies begin moving from one angle to another, forcing you to lead your shots, or when they start disappearing and reappearing just to scare the living crap out of you.

While the game mechanics are very simple, Sonic Invaders's focus on audio-only gameplay makes it a hell of a lot more nerve-wracking than it really has any right to be. To hear the sound of an incoming enemy bullet slowly get louder and louder as it approaches from a specific angle, only to crash into your turret with a startling boom, is an experience in suspense and fear I've yet to see replicated in games with graphics.

And yet, for all its coronary-inducing intensity and moody audio, Sonic Invaders is still fun. Once you get the hang of the turrets and learn to rely on your ears far more than you're otherwise used to, the game becomes a -- and there's no other way to say this -- completely hypnotic affair. It's a scary enough game that I cannot see myself getting outright addicted to it anytime soon, but while you're playing, while you're completely immersed in the midst of an audio-only space war, it's hard not to enjoy yourself in some way or another.

You can download the game here. It's completely free. After you're done, you can always check out some more audio-only games and let the community know if any of them match up with Sonic Invaders. If nothing else, though, I urge you to download Sonic Invaders and give it a try -- especially if you're looking to play something which feels totally unlike anything you've ever played.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Protag shipping is best shipping. [img][/img]
El Dango avatarEl Dango
My dreams are really weird and scary, so I hope it's okay if I let them be dreams.
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Finally played the last two Shantae games. Risky's Revenge wasn't bad, but Pirate's Curse was damn good.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Memo to self: spend your time cleaning before wasting ten or so hours on a cblog you'll end up just scrapping because you're incompetent and incapable of writing on the subject.
Is there an occupation out there for people who want to give up and not worry about shit for a while until they can recompose themselves before going back into society?
Parismio avatarParismio
That test was pretty raw. Some decisions cut deep, some I didnt care for at all. But im satisified with the end result.
Lawman avatarLawman
Torchman avatarTorchman
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
People are having serious anthropological discussions about video games and here I am reminding people that they have one more day to get a dumb card I painted:
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
I just finished this thing here: I'm mostly happy with my results, altough it lacks some stuff like Skyward Sword or Sonic & Knuckles [img][/img]
techsupport avatartechsupport
While I am glad I only paid $15 for it, I bought J-STARS VS+ for one specific reason: to drink some beer and kick ass as Yusuke and Hiei. And in that regard, it delivers. Beer not included.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
We can be so weird sometimes. You can easily move on from some of the stuff you might want to remember forever, but then sometimes you just can't let go of trivial things. What's up with that?
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I'm in the mood for some feel-good music. Hit me with your best feel-good VGM, people! [youtube][/youtube]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
My "Thankful it's over" post is done. Editing it tonight, posting tomorrow. Will there be more last-minute entries? Will Pixie be merciful to Twilight Princess? Will Zetta add words to his entry? Why is bear driving? Who run Bartertown? Stay Tuned!
Parismio avatarParismio
Whelp since i got my ass kicked at snowboarding ive been issued a muscle relaxer today and slept the entire day. Time went by so fast. Is- is this what the phantom cigar is like?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What the hell is a Shantae?
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Ok you Monday morning motherfuckers, 3 favourite fictional universes you'd like to exist in (The initial iteration of the universe had to be in videogame form) Go.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Just ran into my first 'suicide mole rat' in Fallout 4. I'm beginning to think this may not be a 100% accurate, meticulously researched recreation of life after the apocalypse.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Well I just played Undertale. It's a really unique game, but the difficulty in the beginning is a tad intense. Got clobbered once they started throwing three monsters at me at a time and lost a lot of progress... where's Toriel when I need her?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What should I do guys?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -