In Centipede, the player is trapped in the Enchanted Forest. Armed with only a magic wand to ward off the forest's insect denizens, all of which apparently are attacking in the player in continuous waves.
The player must use the magic wand to shoot sparks at approaching insects to score points by pressing the controller button. Holding down the controller button will set the wand to rapid fire shots. If the player is bitten by an insect, the player will be temporarily paralyzed and lose one of the three starting magic wands.
Another classic that hit the arcade machines in the early 80's. A very old game like this had simple gameplay, no depth at all, just repetitive stuff that becomes faster and harder. No levels, no upgrades, no hidden bonuses - just action.
Younger ones will probably ask how a game like this became so popular? Well don't compare it with games nowadays. It became a legend simply because it was everything a true arcade fan ever needed - simplicity and challenge. Actually it is the same nowadays, you just need better graphics and some additional stuff.
There are no levels, just new enemies will appear and will be faster. The speed increases once you clear the screen of those red bugs. There is no end, it only gets harder and you fight for a higher score. You have the list of enemies on the main screen and you'll catch up their behavior in no time.
Those mushrooms can be destroyed with a few shots. They just get in your way but they might determine the direction of those red bugs, so you just need to wait for them. Still the screen becomes a real mess later on, so you'll probably want to clear the screen before destroying the first set of bugs.
The PC version is worse than the original, mostly due to the technical parts. You don't really need more than elementary graphics, but something seems to be missing. Perhaps it is simply not the same feeling after all those years. You'll hear the FX on the PC speaker, different FX informs you that a new enemy is on the screen, but it will probably get boring since that big spider is always present. Well, the game manages to be as challenging as the original was. Be careful! While you are avoiding all those bugs, trying to destroy them, and those mushrooms, you might destroy your joystick instead.
So if you can take bad graphics and focus on the gameplay and you want a simple game, you'll figure out why this was so popular. Zilions of clones were published with better graphics and sound, keeping the same gameplay. The game gets only an average mark because of those technical parts and if you think that mark is too much for it, remember the year it was published. Centipede surely needs no introduction to older players. The younger ones will more likely skip this one for newer clones, but now we have the original, just in case.
Centipede is a good PC port of Atari's classic coin-op hit by the same name, designed by legendary designer Ed Logg. The original arcade version was one of the first games most old-time gamers played, a "vintage" game from the same time as Pac-Man and Galaxian.
Your goal is simple: blast the centipede and other enemies before they kill you. This PC port is very faithful to the original, down to the facts that the game's difficulty level increases the most you play, and you'll go through several hills and valleys as the creature gets lower on each new level.
While the gameplay is top-notch like all other Atari classics, this PC version of Centipede is not as polished as other PC ports such as Galaxian and Joust. Perhaps this is true of the original as well: as unique as the premise is, the game gets boring after a while: the simple nature of gameplay is not made up by sheer addictiveness, unlike Robotron: 2084 and the like. Well worth a look for fans of arcade classics and gaming historians in general, but not really a keeper.
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