It's been decades since the original Centipede hit the arcades and Atari consoles, and it's an understatement to say that a lot has happened since that time. Babies born then are now adults, new cars are now antiques, and game graphics are rivaling CG movies. Now, Centipede has returned to show us that the game still has what it takes after all these years, enhancing a classic while keeping what made it good intact in the process.
If you've never played Centipede before, it's basically a top-down shooter where the only goal is to stop advancing insects from reaching the bottom of the screen. While it may seem passé now, this was high profile stuff back in the day, and people lined up at arcades to play it. Centipede Origins [Free] still keeps this basic formula, which is definitely a great way to welcome you back to the game you remembered.
Where Centipede Origins improves on the formula of the original is with the addition of several power-ups you can use to change the game up when you're struggling. I've never been a particularly skilled player at the older versions, so this is a great addition to those who share my plight.
Sure, you do have to buy these additional power-ups with coins you can either buy as IAP or earn by playing, however they are of unlimited use per level and not very expensive so in-app purchasing doesn't seem necessary here with some minor patience. The only other caveat is that you will have to level up to access certain power-ups.
As with any other re-invention of a game, Centipede Origins features completely revamped graphics, making the mushrooms and beastly centipedes even easier to spot and shoot while playing. Gnomes have been added to the game as well, and do lighten things up a bit over the dark and simplistic visuals of the original.
Back in the arcades, leaderboards were the only way to prove how good you were at a game, so it's only appropriate that they make a return in this remake. Of course, now they're linked up with the rest of the world so you can share them with your Game Center friends or on Facebook and Twitter.
A complaint could be made that this game doesn't contain an emulated version of the original, or a graphic skin to make this look like the original which would have been a nice bonus. As it stands though, I think older players will appreciate the attention and detail Atari spent making sure Centipede Origins plays as close to the original as possible. The game is still very difficult without the use of power-ups, so it's definitely within the same realm.
Having spent plenty of time with Centipede Origins, I'm glad to say that it's a worthy remake of an old Atari game. It's entirely possible that there's other games that have done Centipede's formula better, but there's nothing quite like having an authentic remake and it's been pulled off nicely here. Fans of the original will be glad to have the game in their pocket, while newcomers should have no trouble grasping the simple controls and play style.
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