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Shoot the columns of aliens on the left or right side, so the aliens have further to travel left and right. Use the stationary defense bunkers to protect your ship. Look out for the 'mystery' spaceships which occasionally move across the top of the screen. You will be awarded bonus points that get you extra lifes quicker with these.
The original coin-op version of Space Invaders was said to have caused a shortage of coins in Japan. This wasn't true, but it did go on to gross over $2 billion in quarters between 1979 and 1982. Kids played truant just to play the game. American doctors diagnosed a condition called Space Invaders elbow.