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This Atari 5200 conversion captures the challenge and fun of the arcade hit, and is surprisingly hard! Your cannon can move freely around the lower part of the screen, blasting mushrooms, bugs, and centipede that slither down from the top (and break into parts when shot). Unlike the vertical screen of the arcade game, this translation features a horizontal playing field so the action is flattened out a bit. The centipede make their way down the screen faster, and the spider tends to move in sideways patterns - and often attacks like a heat-seeking missile! Since he's large and can move at blinding speeds, it's hard to avoid him, much less get below him for a shot. Equally hazardous are the falling fleas, which usually ram your cannon when you attempt to shoot them. If you have the track-ball controller, you'll want to use it for the full arcade experience, but the normal controller works surprisingly well.
Although the game is not too graphically impressive and the action can get very repetitive as well, if you love the action packed arcade original this edition is has close as you can get especially with the Track Ball controller. If you have the 5200 be sure to check out the simple but fun and challenging Centipede.