The Space Fever franchise is a series of videogames in the Shoot 'em up genre. It debuted with Space Fever in 1979, and would receive a sequel later the same year, making it the first Nintendo franchise ever to be created. The series consists of two commercial releases, and a sequel released as a minigame in the Game Boy Camera. All games have been developed by Nintendo R&D1.
All the Space Fever games are Shoot 'em ups, though actual gameplay differ considerably. While they are all fixed shooters, meaning the player's ship can only be moved on a horizontal axis, enemies are handled differently. In the arcade games all enemies attacks at once, and slowly move towards the player. In the revival however, ships attacks one or a few at a time, quickly flying towards the player. This game also adds bosses.
In all three games, enemies comes in three varieties, all giving different amounts of points. The enemies' appearance is different in all games however.
In the late 1970s Nintendo was trying to enter the video game market through a number of arcade games. Rather than trying to win ground with original ideas however, many of their games were copies of their competitors’ successful games. Space Fever, which was released in 1979, was one of these games, based on Taito's hugely successful Space Invaders, which was released the year before. Nintendo basically copied the general gameplay, but included several different game modes, allowing for more variation. The game would receive a semi-sequel later the same year, called SF-HiSplitter. This game didn’t change the formula considerably, instead it introduced enemies double the size of the original ones. However, these would be split into two smaller enemies when hit, making the gameplay less of a copy of Space Invaders.
Nintendo would keep making Shoot ‘em ups for a few more years, but their games started to rely on original ideas. Space Fever was left behind and as time passed it seemed like it was forgotten, never to be returned to. Surprisingly, Nintendo included a sequel to the game, or a homage perhaps, as a bonus in the Game Boy Camera, released in 1998. The game was called Space Fever II, but other than the name it didn’t have much in common with its predecessors. Its gameplay is divided into small waves of enemies, with bosses in between.
|Space Fever II|