Sawbuck Gamer

Space Lord

Master Of The Universe

Space Lord puts you on the other side of the Space Invaders fight.

By Drew Toal • August 2, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

Star Trek’s Federation is a nice idea—all of the known galaxy’s civilized planets working together in relative harmony—but considering how difficult it is to even manage America’s 50 states, I wonder if autocracy wouldn’t be the better form of outer space governance.

Enter the Space Lord, ruler of all he surveys and master of a diverse Space Invaders-style fleet. (Let’s be honest; democractic institutions and soft diplomacy aren’t going to stop these pixilated monsters.) Unlike similar looking games such as Galaga or Defender, you’re in control of the invaders instead of the heroic starfighter. The goal isn’t the utter annihilation of the good guy, though. It’s to ensure that they have “fun” playing. As the game goes on and you send squadrons against this Star Fox pretender, the opposing ship acquires power-ups to its guns and shields. To keep the game “fun,” you have to design attack waves that are challenging but not overwhelming. Constructing patterns deemed too easy will drain your “fun” meter precipitously, and making them too hard is equally undesirable. Space Lord is a nice twist on a classic style of arcade game, even if the objective doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. (The game’s creator bills it as a “level design puzzle game”). And if you keep things suitably fun, soon none remain to oppose your cosmos-spanning will. All hail the Space Lord!

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8 Responses to “Master Of The Universe”

  1. DrFlimFlam says:

    I just want to control the UFO that sneaks across the back of the playfield. And jump left and right like that UFO in Despicable Me.

    It seems like a fun curiosity that I will totally try.

  2. beema says:

    I am Lrrr, ruler of the planet Omichron Persei 8! Give me all your lower horns!

  3. Merve says:

    I made it to wave 3 before designing a wave that was too difficult. The computer player gave up at 97% fun! (Presumably, going outside or reading a book or something is 100% fun.)

    • HammettDammit says:

      Yeah, they’re a little twerp. It’s fun for five waves but then suddenly it’s the “Worst. Game. Ever.”

      • mrcapps says:

         The trick is to use only use one or two types of ships at first, and introduce the other ships into the waves as they grow bored. The new ship type will then excite them

        • HammettDammit says:

          Yeah, I beat it. It was just annoying easily the player was beaten and how petulant its comments were. Honestly, it’s not like you have fun playing Space Invaders for twenty minutes and then says it sucks when you lose

          It would have been more fun if at the end you got to destroy him.

  4. Brainstrain says:

    Really neat game. It doesn’t explain itself at all, but that’s almost acceptable in the browser format. I’d rather spend a minute or two failing and learning than suffer through dire a 5-minute tutorial.

  5. gobaers says:

    What a neat idea!  Does the game let you play the levels you generate, afterwards?