Alien Attack – “How to play”

“How to play … er … test”

Since 16.02.2021, the current development status has been made available on the website

Here everyone can play the game directly, without installation, preparation or configuration! This is possible by using WebMSX, an MSX emulator for web browsers!

What can I expect?

A genuine space shoot’em up – shmup for short – spaceship, aliens, shoot, kill. No more, no less. 🙂
Goal of the game (so far): Reach and eliminate the boss of the first level! Collect as many points as possible on the way and be destroyed as rarely as possible….

The player’s spaceship can be controlled with the cursor keys and shot with the SPACE key.

There are 3 displays at the bottom of the screen:
Lives – The number of own lives, at the beginning of the game you have 3.
Score – Each time you shoot an enemy you get points, more or less depending on the strength of the enemy.
Time – This is the timer for certain extra weapons. If you get an extra weapon, the timer starts counting down from 99. The extra weapon disappears when the timer reaches 0.

Powerups / Extras:

Every now and then a powerup sphere appears, the collection of which activates a certain extra weapon or the protective shield. Shooting the sphere changes its effect. Repeatedly collecting the same extra increases its effect and duration (timer is reset to 99).


The end of the level is guarded by a powerful boss. He can only be hit with a certain tactic. Find his weak spot!


If your spaceship has been destroyed three times, you can continue playing by holding down the SPACE button for 3 seconds. The game will then start again.

Phew, that looks pretty … old.

Yes, and it is. So the system you’re playing on right now. Here are a few fun facts about the MSX1 system and the game itself:

The MSX1 system has a colour palette of fixed 16 colours, the screen resolution is 256 x 192 pixels. The system has 64 kilobytes of RAM and an additional 16 kilobytes of Video RAM. The processor is a Zylog Z80A with an incredible 3.579 MHz. Unfortunately, the MSX1 architecture does not allow “soft scrolling”, so the game background must always be read in block by block – hence the “judder”.

The game itself will have a total size of 256 kilobytes, only the active parts will be loaded into the RAM of the computer. Sound-wise, a 3-channel sound generator is available. Background music and sound effects are “squeezed” into these 3 channels. In summary: we are pushing the system to its limits in many respects with this game!

Therefore: Please consider the limitations of the system in your tests, imagine you would play a “new” game on your beloved C64, ZX Spectrum or NES in the year 198x. 🙂

What happens next?

If you have successfully started the game and played a few rounds, get in touch with us and let us know what you think!

Have you noticed any errors or at least “oddities”? Let us know, preferably with a screenshot!


Q: Is there a cheat/god mode?
A: Yes, there are 2 “Cheat codes” which simplifies the game testing.
BUT: Please try to play through the level without this help!

Activate God Mode:

What is the first name (6 letters) of the current (2021) Spanish head of state, and also the first name of Marcos’ son?

  1. press F1 for pause
  2. type XXXXXX, you will hear a short jingle
  3. you are now invulnerable.

Activate shield and extra weapon:

What is the first name (5 letters) of a famous former model and ‘Madrinha da Bateria from Brazil, which is also the first name of Marcos’ daughter?

  1. press F1 for pause
  2. type XXXXX, you will hear a short jingle
  3. you get the shield and an extra weapon.

We develop the game, graphics and music exclusively in our spare time, driven by the fascination of creating something beautiful and entertaining with old technology.

Maybe you would like to buy us a coffee, a free beer or a hot dog? Then we really appreciate your donation with PayPal!

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