Victory over the Space Invaders celebrated forty years on with a lenticular silver coin

Without question one of the most famous video games of all time, Space Invaders has become a legend in the gaming community. Created by Japanese programmer Tomohiro Nishikado in 1978 for Taito, this simple shooting game became a world-wide phenomenon that remains to this day. A version for the cult Atari 2600 (VCS) system is considered the first example of a ‘killer-app’ to sell a gaming system.

The gameplay is very simplistic. A player-controlled laser cannon can be moved horizontally along the bottom of the screen while firing up at rows of animated aliens that descend when they hit the side of the screen. Sometimes a special ship will move quickly across the screen at the top and shooting it gives extra points. Three fortresses can be hidden behind for protection and the game gets faster as it goes on. That’s literally it, so those brought up on the latest Call of Duty will be scratching their heads at the simplicity of it all. Calling the invaders ‘animated’ is a bit of a stretch given they had just two frames of it, but that’s made the reproduction of it in lenticular form pretty easy and it’s a small step from there to having a coin adorned with it.

The New Zealand Mint has launched a very cool coin to celebrate 40 years of the videogame icon. A simple depiction of four waves of invaders done in lenticular form so that moving the coin from side to side will ‘animate’ them. It’s a great idea that should have plenty of appeal to videogamers – a market now far larger than the music or movie markets. The obverse is a typical effigy of Queen Elizabeth II as it’s a Niue Island issue.

This mint has always been good with an innovative box when needed and the one here is perfect. A small box that looks like one of the early game cabinets couldn’t be more suited to the coin and it will also contain the certificate of authenticity. Just 3,000 of these will be struck and the coin is available to order from today. It can be bought from the mint website, or from sponsors like Minted-UK and Powercoin. An unexpected release for sure, but a hugely welcome one – one that helps cement videogaming history alongside the movie and music worlds in popular culture.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 40.00 mm
MODIFICATIONS Lenticular image
BOX / COA Yes / Yes