Yard Invaders


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Yard InvadersThis next game is not a new game and was previously available only at RobotDuck.com, a membership only site that features an assortment of excellent Shockwave games designed and developed by the very talented Ben Pitt. Now, through an exclusive arrangement with FetchFido.co.uk, the full version of the game is available free for everyone to play.

Yard Invaders is a Shockwave action arcade game similar to Space Invaders, and yet with some unique gameplay twists.

Control your little apple-throwing buddy by moving the mouse left and right. The buddy will move in the direction of the "x" cursor. Use the cursor for aiming at the invaders that will march back and forth and slowly inch their way down towards the ground. Click the mouse button to hurl an apple towards the cursor. Some enemies will require more than one hit to take down. This is especially true in later levels, and especially bosses.

As you throw the apples, they will eventually land back on the ground. You have only five (5) apples to start with, and you must 'reload' by walking over the thrown ones to make them available for throwing again. Avoid the enemies as they fall to the ground, and some will even fire rockets back at you. Protect your little pet duck for bonus points at the end of the level, and even more bonus points for each subsequent level you keep it safe.

Analysis: The game features RobotDuck's characteristic child-like hand-drawn graphics and animation, and yet it is packed with gameplay that is surprisingly refined for the game's appearance. As is typical of Ben's work, Yard Invaders runs smooth and at a consistent framerate. As a result, the game play experience is gratifying and a lot of fun. I particularly like the classic-style boss fights with enemies that have beau coup hit points and that fire back in repeating patterns. It's an accessible game with classic casual gameplay from a developer with a lot of Shockwave experience. Click.

Yard Invaders has even inspired at least two other games that I know of: Gel Invaders, which was previously reviewed here last summer; and Rob Manuel's excellent Notepad Invaders, which is really just a Space Invaders clone; however, I can't help but think of Yard Invaders every time I play it.

Other RobotDuck games previously reviewed here: Vampire Boy.

Thanks to Paul over at FetchFido for the link to the full version. =)

19 Comments

Wow, nice to see the full version has finally become available again. I remember when Ben Pitt's site went over to the shareware-esque model (try a few levels for free, but pay for access to the rest, no time limit on free content). I eventually did buy a membership, but mostly for Yard Invaders, which I consider to possess both the best type of game mechanics for a game of this sort, and the satisfying graphics and sounds to back it up. The game mechanics are really interesting in that, while they inspire some frustration with requiring movement along with aiming, also add a bit of forced thought as to whether it would be better to risk running into the midst of ground zero to throw a few wild pot shots or stand in place and wait for a safer shot.

I think the one way this type of game mechanic could get improved is with different types of things to throw with different weights and different amounts of bounciness. Other than that, it's gold. Heck, it's still gold even without it. Even though I still have yet to beat the entire game....

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Thanks for that excellent assessment, Ben, and for reminding me that I never even mentioned anything about the sound support, which is, as you pointed out, an integral part of the Yard Invaders experience. =)

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Speaking of which, what is the music to the start of the game? I think it's excellent.

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Luckdragon Author Profile Page January 9, 2006 2:03 PM

I was so esctatic at the prospect of Yard Invaders going free (I loved Robotduck before it became pay to play) but then the game freezes on me in Level 3.

Bummer much?

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Luckdragon, I've made it beyond level 7, so I'm thinking it must be something on your end.

I'll try again to be sure. Does it freeze in the same place each time? If so, at what specific point in the game does it happen?

Update: yeah, made it to level 7 again without a problem.

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I have heard this music that goes along with the game somewhere else before....does anyone else remember what game it was?

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I'm now addicted to two games! Yard Invaders and Pop pirates. ARGH!
...but so fun to play, i love the graphics, music, originality of apple throwing despite the invader clone thing. But now i have to get back to revising for exams :p

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Man I can't get my score past 46,474.

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that big monster was hard.....

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I finally beat my best score and got 81,330. Before I thik I lost on round 9 and now I got to round 12...which is really hard.

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argh! i got the last Final Round and lost! argh!

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I got all the way to 94,832. I have always loved this game, but never got to play it in full. Now I can love it even more.

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I made it to the final round with 125,000+. Too bad I only had 1 extra life going in.

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i beat it with 128,329
so much fun

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elflandethics Author Profile Page January 16, 2006 11:45 AM

more on this: (128,329)

i had enough lives by the final round to commit kamakazi suicide on the bosses twice.

kept throwing apples at them until they crashed on my head. it killed me once but made it significantly easier.
..

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Its like an urban brother to Madeline meets War of the Worlds :D Great stuff.

My duck died far to much :( Sad

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winfrith June 22, 2007 7:05 AM

RIP
Duckie
He was a brave duck who followed me anywhere I go.Unfortunately,he was killed by a missle from the invaders.

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great to see ben pitt get some props. his site is now down sadly. he had some great games and music. If anyone knows when the site is gonna come back up i would really like to know. e-mail me if you have any info.

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Dear me that last level is difficult...I managed to get there with two lives and lost with a score of 132,719.

But don't let that get you down, I'm an old hand at this. Robotduck was my favourite games site ever. I loved this game the most too. I held the top score on the leaderboard until the site went down. :( Reinstate robotduck!

IF anyone has found the skateboarding game Ben made please email me! It was sweet.

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