Tomohiro Nishikado, designer of the original Space Invaders, supervised the DS game's development, so it's no wonder the classic version is pixel perfect. That also explains why the remake improves upon the original game in numerous ways without significantly changing the underlying play mechanics. The basic formula still involves rows of aliens up top and your cannon at the bottom. As in the original arcade game, the cannon in the remake can be moved only left and right. Now though, there are 20 different cities to visit, various enemies and bosses to shoot at, and six weapon power-ups to take advantage of. None of the power-ups are overpowered, but they're all pretty useful. You can wrap the cannon in an energy shield, activate rapid fire, use a laser beam that can take out an entire column of aliens, attach two support cannons to the side of your main cannon, stop the movement of the aliens, and speed up the cannon so that it moves faster. Power-up use is limited by an energy meter, which gradually drains when they're used and is refilled a bit between rounds. Multiple power-ups can be activated and combined, but they'll eat up energy more rapidly. These additions are nice and provide a new way to experience the classic Space Invaders formula, but they don't bring the game up to the level of a modern shooter, such as Nanostray.
Classic Space Invaders is also included.
The remake also incorporates a few graphical and audio improvements and makes use of the unit's touch-screen capability, at least to a point. Graphical upgrades in the remake include photographic backgrounds, multihued aliens, and large multisegmented bosses. The Game Boy Advance could have easily handled those nuances though. The only time Space Invaders Revolution flexes the graphical muscle in the Nintendo DS is during a brief 3D takeoff sequence that plays in the lower screen whenever you select a level. Gameplay is shown in the upper screen, while the lower screen shows score readouts and touch-screen choices. Peppy music and a variety of digitized laser and explosion sound effects provide the remake's soundtrack. They're not earth-shattering, but they're a big improvement from the zero music and two sound effects of the original game. Like so many other Nintendo DS games, this one makes modest use of the unit's touch screen. Optionally, you can use the stylus to select levels and activate power-ups in the new-age version and use it to steer and fire the cannon in the classic version. The directional pad and buttons accomplish the same actions, however, and they're significantly more responsive than the stylus.
There's nothing spectacular about Space Invaders Revolution. The gameplay, the graphics, and the audio all feel a bit dated, even in the new-age remake, but perhaps that's the point. This Nintendo DS game card is aimed squarely at fans of the original game and doesn't go overboard to modernize the classic formula.