Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39520)
Written on  :  Dec 19, 2004
Platform  :  Commodore 64
Rating  :  3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars

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The centipede is coming to get you

The Good

The first game programmed by a woman, Centipede is a 1-2 player game where you control a laser. A centipede appears at the top of the screen and makes it way down through a mushroom patch toward you, and you must shoot it before it comes near you. Then things take a turn for the worse. For instance, more segments are added, meaning that you have to worry about shooting it as well as the original centipede. There are other creatures to worry about as well, including jumping spiders, fleas, and scorpions. When the centipede has been destroyed, another appears and you have to do the same thing again.

When you shoot a segment, it turns into a mushroom, and when one of them blocks the centipede's path, it turns around and goes back in the direction that it came from. On that note, I have to say that there is a bit of strategy involved if you want to end the centipede's life once and for all. Try to have so many mushrooms about an inch from one another, so that the centipede is trapped between them, and it has no hope of getting out. This makes it quicker for you to complete the current level.

I read the comic book that came with the game, about a young elf named Oliver who needs to defeat a wizard who has turned his fellow villagers into poisonous toadstools. The comic is in color, rather than black-and-white, which makes it stand out from the comics around that time. The comic helped me get into the game.

The only version of Centipede that I tried out was the C64 version. In this version, the gameplay is spot on, as well as the graphics and sounds. The sounds that I enjoyed most was the sound that played while the jumping spider is around. When I heard this sound, I knew that it could be from another game that I have not played yet.

Graphic-wise, everything looks slightly out of detail compared to the original, but that is because the coin-op has better hardware than the inferior hardware that the C64 had for its time.

The Bad

The centipede moves quite fast, so it is easy to miss the individual segments as both scurry around the screen in under five seconds. Other than this, nothing bad concerns this game.

The Bottom Line

Without infringing copyrights, you could get the PC Booter version of Centipede on eBay and run it on your system, but it would probably be too fast, or it won't even run at all. So your best option is to obtain one of those retro consoles to play it on.