Centipede, a shooting game was released by Atari, Inc. for Arcade platform in June 1981. It was available by two programmers, Ed Logg and Dona Bailey. Because this game was lauched at the popular time of Arcade Game, it received many attentions. Besides releasing for Arcade, Atari, Inc. also offers other versions for their popular platforms like Atari 2600, Atari 5200 and Atari 7800. With the Atari 2600 platform, it was available in Europe and North America in 1982. Also in 1982, a version for the Atari 5200 was launched. However, it was only available in North America. In 1987, the manufacturer released the Atari 7800 platform game for two regions, North America and Europe.
Besides, Centipede has a simple storyline to understand the combat mission. In the game, the player becomes a Garden gnome and uses a Wand to protect his garden from insects’s invasion. They will attack the garden, including fleas, giant centipedes, scorpions and spiders.
In Centipede, players will control a Bug Blaster to destroy the insects who attack the garden. The most dangerous enemy that the players have to quickly destroy is a centipede. It will move from the top to the bottom. Meanwhile, the players have to move quickly to kill it. However, this centipede is not easy to destroy, and players have to grasp a certain rule to defeat. Firstly, it is about 10 or 12 parts long, each piece will correspond to a square block. If the player attacks its head, they will receive 100 points and 10 points when attacking its middle. However, players have to limit attacks on its middle. Because when being attacked on middle, from one, it will split in two and become a new centipede. Besides, its movement speed will increase gradually after each split. Therefore, the key to destroy is to focus on the head without its body.
Besides, players also have to face other enemies like fleas. This creature will fall from the top to the bottom in a straight line, and the player has to fire two consecutive rounds to destroy it, the flea value is 200 points. Next, the spiders will appear on the screen. They will move in a zig zag style. You will receive different points, depending on the distance to destroy, 300 points and 600 points at a far distance, 900 points for close distance. Finally, the most valuable object is the scorpions, which correspond to 1000 points. Scorpions will move horizontally across the screen, and they can leave on the way poisonous mushrooms. In particular, when the centipede eats a poisonous mushroom, it will rush down the screen. Therefore, players have to quickly destroy the scorpion when it begins to appear.
Centipede for Atari 2600 platform has a normal image system, details are simple with different color blocks. However, the insects appearing in the game are quite clearly designed, helping players distinguish enemies more easily.