You are trapped in an Enchanted Forest that is full of mysterious mushrooms everywhere you look. Suddenly, you sense something coming your way and, before you know it, a giant centipede is attacking you. You grab a wand that you find nearby to try to poke the eyes of the giant creature only to see magical sparks fly and change the centipede’s head into a mushroom!

The centipede is one segment shorter but a new head sprouts and you once again turn it into a mushroom. Suddenly a large spider jumps your way, followed by venomous fleas and a poisonous scorpion. Your only hope is that the magic in the wand can continue to protect you. Centipede was released in the arcades in 1981 and was highly successful due to its addicting gameplay. The Atari 7800 was given its own port of the game and it does not fail to impress. In fact, this may be the definitive home version of Centipede! The game graphics are a good adaptation of the arcade, except for a white border around the playing field. I’ve no idea why Atari decided to add it. The animation of the centipede and other insects is smooth and the mushrooms look pretty good. The gameplay is true to the arcade and the only issue is the lack of true trackball control (though you can use the Atari Trackball in joystick mode). Game sounds are pretty good for the TIA chip and there are four different skill levels to choose from. As if that weren’t enough, Atari has also added a two-player simultaneous play options very much like those in Asteroids (compete or cooperate). This is yet another winner for the ProSystem!


TrekMD is an MD by day and a writer by night, a lover of all things Atari. You can visit his ramblings  on Twitter at: twitter.com/TrekMD

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