And before anyone says it, no, I'm not talking about The Last Starfighter. But it is a fair amount like that.

All I remember is the beginning, which goes something like this.

  • Boy finds an arcade game at some restaurant or something he visits.
  • He learns that you basically automatically lose the game when you press a button that fires your weapon, since a bunch of other ships will show up and destroy you.
  • It turns out some aliens are using the arcade game to find a new pilot (they may have lost theirs).
  • The no-weapons rule was because if you shot at other ships some equivalent of the space police would show up and arrest or destroy you.
  • Protagonist maintains the best score for a while, and the aliens reveal themselves after he beats the game.

No clue what happens after that. It may have had pictures, but I could be remembering incorrectly.


It looks like it may be the same book I was just looking for:

That Game from Outer Space by Stephen Manes

Book description from Amazon:

The giant video game that appears one day in Pete's Pizza Palace is the strangest one Oscar Noodleman has ever seen. It looks more like a rocket ship than a game. There's not a word of English on it anywhere; everything from the control panel to the coin slot is labeled in some strange language that seems to use squiggles instead of letters. And when he and Pete finally figure out how to get it working, they discover the loudest game they've ever heard.

But as the screen pops out to wrap around Oscar's head and he gets deeper into the game, he discovers levels and challenges unlike any he's ever seen. He begins to wonder if this isn't just a game, but a real rocket from outer space. Some colorful bugs run down the screen and into the coin slot. And that's when things start getting downright weird . . .

  • Welcome to SFF.SE. We prefer answers that provide a description of the information at any provided links, so I edited your answer to include the book description from Amazon. – Null Feb 19 '15 at 22:11
  • Yes! That is exactly it. Thank you. – Keltslash Feb 20 '15 at 22:35

It remembers me of the film The Last Starfighter so maybe it is the novel written after it: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/981786.The_Last_Starfighter

  • 3
    seems like you didn't read the questions first sentence... – ths Jan 15 '15 at 11:35
  • 1
    Unless the OP was convinced The Last Starfighter was only a film? While I would have gone for a comment, the fact there is a book, with a GoodReads link is useful additional information. Even if it's not right. – Jontia Aug 20 '18 at 12:38

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