Centipede

Posted: August 18, 2010 in Games
Tags: , ,

Platform: Atari

Ah yes, I remember this.  I remember sitting downstairs in the bitter cold living room on a Winter night (we had no heating back then) playing the Atari with my family.  Of course, I was only really little back then, but these are the games that got me into gaming, who made me the kind of person I am today, and for that reason – Atari I salute you.

Centipede is a vertical shoot ’em up and is very addictive.  You are trapped in an enchanted forest, where the aim of the game is to shoot as many incoming insects as possible, whilst also destroying the centipede that gradually makes its way down the screen to you as it floats left and right.  If the centipede hits you, then you lose a life – simple stuff really.  Once you shoot the centipede, it splits in half, making it harder to hit as there is now two of them on the move.  There are barriers in the way, which are actually in fact mushrooms, and if the centipede touches one of these or touches the edge of the screen, it drops down a level, getting closer towards you.  You can however destroy the mushrooms with your gun, which takes about four hits to do so – this helps give you more of an area to shoot in and also prevents the centipede from hitting them.

Once the centipede has finally been killed, another one will appear at the top of the screen accompanied by what is called a ‘detached head’ that is very fast.  Every new centipede will become more difficult each time, each accompanied with more detached heads than the previous burst.

The other insects on the screen are there to distract you away from the centipede.  The spider will destroy any mushrooms that it touches – this could be advantageous or disadvantageous, depending on whereabouts the centipede is on the screen at that moment.  The flea can be a bit of a nuisance as it plants more mushrooms once you have nearly got rid of them all, making the centipede harder to make contact with.  Hit the flea two times, and the little bugger will eventually go away.  The scorpion starts off slow, but gradually picks up speed as it plants poison on every mushroom it touches.  If the centipede touches a poisoned mushroom, it dives straight towards the area where you are – so be alert!

Overall, I think this game is a little classic and still stands tall today.  It’s a game for the older ones to reminisce about and one for the younger ones to look out for.  The graphics remind me of those used in the old Nokia mobile phone game ‘Snakes’, so I think they are still pretty respectable for today’s market.  It reminds me of a game you could play on the Ipod – it is quick and doesn’t take a lot of thought so it would be perfect for those days spent travelling.  Are you listening Apple?

7/10

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