Friday, August 14, 2009

Retro Game of the Day! Centipede

Retro Game of the Day! Centipede

Centipede was released way way wayyyy back in 1980 by Atari - the product of Dona Bailey and the renowned Ed Logg, you ol' mushroom-blaster you.

As you can tell, perhaps, this was an early purchase for me, running on my Atari 400 (first console that I owned). I never played the actual arcade until a couple years later after getting my mitts on the console version, I believe.. that means, unlike most people I was reared on this being a joystick game rather than being used to it's trakball control.

Centipede is all about shoot, shoot, shoot - inspired by the apce blasting games of the day, this title switched up the metaphor to be bugs in a garden or forest, and you're a little blaster tasked with taking down the unending swarm. The main creature is the long eponymous Centipede, which breaks apart as you blast it - you often have several smaller bits of 'pede to contend with. In your path are several mushrooms that block your shots and hasten your enemies' descent to the bottom of the screen, each mushroom takes a couple of shots to dispatch (and they keep popping back up regardless!) When the creature reaches the bottom of the screen, unlike Space Invaders it doesn't mean you've lost - it will just hang out for awhile, going back up and then down again some more, until one of you dies.

This game was a true auditory experience for me, as it would get more and more hectic you'd hear the distinctive sounds of the various other bugs and such in the game, darting across the screen and trying to attack you. The crazy spiders, the drifty scorpions, the.. things that drop down the screen to deposit more mushrooms - it was really an 8-bit cacophony.

Not a terribly deep game, but a true classic and a fun and unique blaster which is still charming to this day!

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