Irem Software Engineering [a] is a Japanese video game console developer and publisher , and formerly a developer and manufacturer of arcade games as well. The company has its headquarters in Chiyoda, Tokyo. The full name of the company that uses the brand is Irem Software Engineering. It was established in by its parent company Nanao now Eizo for the purpose of taking over the development department of the original Irem Corporation, that had left the video game industry in to concentrate itself on the rental and sales of coin-op electronics.
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After many hours of researching, I found there to be hardly any information on the little known IPM Invader. In the bibliography and links page I have linked every page I could find. No other information I have gathered supports this, but it must be noted that on this japanese site , it list a mahjongg game with IPM in front of it's name, i. IPM Mahjongg Just about all other sites refer IREM as the manufacturer.
Whether this is true of not cannot be verified for lack of information. Theories suggest these may have been software revisions or more likely dip switch settings. Dip switch settings and more will be discussed in detail in ' Technical Data ' section.
More on this in ' Unique ' section. Date of manufacture on most information sites state as the production date. A minority states that was the production date while others just put unknown. Here's what he had to say on the subject:. It is widely known as the 'poor mans' version of Space Invaders. Vision Electronics found a source through a company called Irem. Irem manufactured a copy pcb. With legal threats from its Japanese counterpart [ Taito ] the company [ Irem ] redesigned the original pcb into the 'IPM Invader' version.
IPM Invader hit the Australian playing market about August and was not as well received to the market as its counterpart. Also, there was a new game on the market called Galaxian which delivered bright colours, exciting sounds and unique game play. The Space Invader phenomenon was over! This then lead the way for more exciting games like Pac-man , Frogger and the all time favourite Galaga I'd hardly call it the 'poor mans' version as it is a great clone of Space Invaders.
With added unique features like the 'coffee break' and the capsules make this an extension of an already great game; definitely NOT a poorer version of it. Here where it gets a little fuzzy. Back then this pirated PCB, because of it's design and minimal memory room on the PCB, remember we are talking old technology , the game was very complex for it's time. It used an old processor which unlike the Z80 processor, it had its limitations.
The green is done by taking a segment out of the video processing area of the PCB and pulling it down with a bipolar prom to generate the affect. So the question remains who had colour first? The answer would have to be Logitec Co. The reason that this variation of Space Invaders is unique, is that it has the famous 'coffee break' which no other has. What's the 'coffee break'? The 'coffee break' is a unique feature in IPM Invaders whereas after every 3rd wave or pattern of invaders, the 'coffee break' appears.
Refer to the picture below for an example. Basically, it is a rest in game play from the monotonous and repetitive onslaught from waves of invaders. Much like the challenging stage in Galaga breaks the game up.
Or in Pac-man when after the second frame, a short respite is had with Pac-man being chased by the ghost across the screen only to have him grow larger and chase them back across the screen in the opposite direction. Another unique feature in IPM Invader is the 'capsules'. When dip switch settings are changed to advanced settings, the game becomes more difficult with the introduction of the UFO mystery score ship dropping 'capsules' that hatch into new invaders.
The 'capsules' cannot be destroyed until they hatch, and are dropped across the screen to defeat the players 'narrow column' strategy. The 'coffee break' picture above shows the UFO dropping 'capsules'. Capsule Invader is made by the same manufacturer at the same time which indicates that it's just IPM Invader with the dip switches set on advanced difficulty. IPM Invader is also a Dual sync game meaning it has separate Horizontal and Vertical outputs, and many have been modified to composite negative Horizontal sync because they won't work on most monitors.
All trademarks and copyrighted materials are property of their respective owners. Last updated 12 July Maintained by The Pinny Parlour. For those who are not aware of IPM Invader, it is the game that has a 'coffee break' after every 3 waves of invaders. This has always fascinated me and I enjoyed reaching the 'coffee break' when I was young. Monitor Information.
List of Irem games