Cellular automata ringtones!

El Rey Invaders

I’ve blogged many times before about El Rey, my artist friend who produces — among other things — the Surly Squid line of paintings, one of which hangs in my office. Well, if you know El Rey’s work, it tends to revolve around several icons: Squid, coffee cups, robots, pigs, monkeys wearing crowns. Today, I discovered that the web designer Ryan Masuga took all of these icons and produced El Rey Invaders, possibly the most mind-blowing Space Invaders port in history.

And: It’s hard! The current high score is 42,672,000, but I got a mere 17,450,000. This despite the fact that I was actually reaching back into my early-80s arcade toolkit and employing l33t Space Invaders strategy: Clearing the board down to a pack of four slow-moving aliens, at which point you wait for the super-bonus top-of-the-screen ships to repeatedly spawn and pick ‘em off.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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Collision Detection: A Blog by Clive Thompson