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New Space Invaders champ doubles previous record

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Richie Knucklez

If Earth is ever attacked by waves of slow-marching aliens, Richie Knucklez might be humanity's greatest hope.

While he's been playing Space Invaders since he was 11 years old, the Flemington, NJ arcade owner had the best game of his life earlier this month. The best game, in fact, of anyone's life.

On Oct. 7, Knucklez posted a new world record score of 110,510 on the arcade classic, absolutely obliterating the old record of 55,160, which stood for eight years.

Knucklez, who owns and operates a classic arcade called, fittingly enough, Richie Knucklez, cites the previous record holder, Donald Hayes, for helping him hone his Space Invaders style.

"He and I played together a few times and he showed me some good techniques that I tweaked," he said. "He taught me the basics with counting the shots for 300 points and I tweaked it in a way that I could score at a faster rate."

It's an impressive feat for any gamer, but it's not the only record under his belt.

Knucklez set records on classic shooters Phoenix and Space Fury earlier this year. All totaled, he currently holds six world records in the Twin Galaxies database (the official keeper of high score records). And he's hoping to add a seventh before the year is out.

Knucklez  isn't the only person earning old-school gaming street cred these days. The University of Southern California held the 2nd annual Tetris World Championships last weekend, with players competing on the PS3 and NES versions of the game, rather than the arcade version.

Jonas Neubauer, a 29 year-old from Redondo Beach, California, took top honors, scoring more than half a million points in the game. That's an impressive number, but falls short of his world record score. Neubauer has completed two back-to-back games with the maximum score of 999,999.

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