Archive for June 27, 2007

Shaggy's Weekly Review: Centipede by Atari

June 27, 2007

As today is Wednesday and it’s Atari’s anniversary then it’s only natural to review a classic Atari game. This isn’t the first time I’ve done it but it’s the best thing to do. This week I will make it a little different, covering the Atari 2600 and 7800 versions as well as the arcade (I haven’t played it on the Atari 5200/800 so it wouldn’t be fair for me to say anything on that). This week: the classic Centipede

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centmarq.jpg

Centipede by Atari (1980)
Players 1-2

Introduction

Save the Magical Forest from the evil Centipede and his fellow minions! Take control of a garden gnome in this timeless classic that was crafted to play in the same vein as Space Invaders, while offering a more intense and colorful alternative to that title which also was the first game to widely appeal to women (being programmed by a woman on top of that).

Gameplay

The object of Centipede is to destroy the descending centipede while surviving any collisions with one of its pods, fast moving spiders or falling fleas. Each centipede is made up of several pods that will initially be connected together. They separate as you blast them, making it slightly more difficult to eliminate the centipede as a whole and with each wave you will see the Centipede start off with a pod or two already broken off from the main body. The playfield is riddled with mushrooms (not those magical mushrooms that will make you bigger) that while they will block your attacks against the centipede they can be completely destroyed after a few shots. The mushrooms will either hinder or help the centipede make it’s way to the bottom of the screen as once the head of the moving centipede runs into a mushroom, it will descend one line down on the screen. Unlike Space Invaders, if the centipede reaches the bottom of the screen that does not mean game over – instead the centipede’s pods will start climbing back up a few rows. If they reach a certain point, it will cause another centipede pod to come onto the screen. Eliminating one entire centipede causes another wave to begin.

(more…)

Shaggy’s Weekly Review: Centipede by Atari

June 27, 2007

As today is Wednesday and it’s Atari’s anniversary then it’s only natural to review a classic Atari game. This isn’t the first time I’ve done it but it’s the best thing to do. This week I will make it a little different, covering the Atari 2600 and 7800 versions as well as the arcade (I haven’t played it on the Atari 5200/800 so it wouldn’t be fair for me to say anything on that). This week: the classic Centipede

————————————————————————————-

centmarq.jpg

Centipede by Atari (1980)
Players 1-2

Introduction

Save the Magical Forest from the evil Centipede and his fellow minions! Take control of a garden gnome in this timeless classic that was crafted to play in the same vein as Space Invaders, while offering a more intense and colorful alternative to that title which also was the first game to widely appeal to women (being programmed by a woman on top of that).

Gameplay

The object of Centipede is to destroy the descending centipede while surviving any collisions with one of its pods, fast moving spiders or falling fleas. Each centipede is made up of several pods that will initially be connected together. They separate as you blast them, making it slightly more difficult to eliminate the centipede as a whole and with each wave you will see the Centipede start off with a pod or two already broken off from the main body. The playfield is riddled with mushrooms (not those magical mushrooms that will make you bigger) that while they will block your attacks against the centipede they can be completely destroyed after a few shots. The mushrooms will either hinder or help the centipede make it’s way to the bottom of the screen as once the head of the moving centipede runs into a mushroom, it will descend one line down on the screen. Unlike Space Invaders, if the centipede reaches the bottom of the screen that does not mean game over – instead the centipede’s pods will start climbing back up a few rows. If they reach a certain point, it will cause another centipede pod to come onto the screen. Eliminating one entire centipede causes another wave to begin.

(more…)

Happy 35th Anniversary Atari and Arcades

June 27, 2007

atari.jpg

June 27th, 1972 – 35 years ago today the video arcade industry was officially born with the creation of it’s first powerhouse, Atari. Their first major success would be Pong, later followed by hits such as Asteroids, Centipede, Tempest, Missile Command, BattleZone and more. They also led the way with many innovations for the coin-op industry and while they were not the only ones to make great games, we owe it to them for paving the way for not only arcades today but all video games. It is true that they weren’t the only ones working on the concept but it is hard to say where we would be without the likes of Pong and other pioneering efforts by the great Fuji.

To celebrate, go out to an arcade if there is one near you and play some good old coin-op games. If you have an Atari of any kind, play that too. “Have you played Atari today? ”

Today Atari is a mere shell of what it once was after changing hands many, many times – there is no coin-op division as what was left of that was bought up and later shut down by Midway and the console division died in 1996 with the Atari Jaguar as their last console. Now they are a software company struggling to survive in the current marketplace.

For a rundown on Atari’s coin-op history with a look at many of the great arcade titles that they brought to us over the years, check out our extensive Atari Coin-Op History page. Also check out Atarimuseum.com and Atari Explorer, both excellent resources on the history of the once great coin-op game company. Also be sure to check out our look at arcade games on the Atari Lynx and later today be looking for a classic Atari arcade review as well as some updates to our Atari history page. Long live the Fuji!

[Arcade Heroes Extensive Atari Arcade History Page]

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