Also On: Xbox One, Switch, PC
Developer: Adamvision Studios / Sneaky Box
Centipede was an absolute giant in 1980’s arcades. A super fun game with a simple concept, shoot everything that moves and try to survive. Some later versions of the game tried to change things up or add elements that simply didn’t fit with the tried and true set up that made it a classic. Thankfully, Atari is bringing back the multi-legged monsters with Centipede Recharged and, while some things have changed, it still remains true to the original.
If you’ve never played Centipede in your life, you play as a small cannon at the bottom of the screen while giant Centipedes, Spiders, Slugs and Fleas are all trying to do you in and you have to shoot and survive their never ending onslaught. There is no overall goal outside of getting the high score. Adamvision Studios and Sneaky Box have taken the original gameplay and spiced it up with a Tron-Like laser setting, power ups and really fun challenges.
In Centipede Recharged, you have one life and your only goal is to survive. If you get touched by an enemy, your game is over. The original game had one Centipede per screen until you destroy it completely, in Recharged you are constantly harassed by multiple Centipedes until they destroy you. Let’s not forget the terrible spiders where, in the original game, were fast and furious. Here, they have been slowed down and contain power-ups for your cannon that are absolutely vital for your extended survival. Rapid-Fire, Dynamite, Spread Shot and Side Cannon are just a few of the many powers you can obtain by zapping the spiders, so you really don’t want to ignore them. If playing the Arcade Mode becomes monotonous, you can try your hand at several challenges ranging from getting a high score, to avoiding shooting certain objects and surviving for a set amount of time. If you find surviving difficult, you can grab a friend for some couch Co-Op action, with both players controlling their own cannon at the same time.
Graphics are completely in glowing lasers with no textures or shading, but you can figure out what everything is. It looks odd at first, but you will get used to it quickly. The original game was played in a vertical 4:3 screen, but Recharged has been expanded into a 16:9 playfield giving you more ground to cover. Nothing about the sound is new or groundbreaking as it consists of forgettable rave music and laser fire. It’s fitting for the visuals, but I would of liked to hear some better background music. Controls are very responsive from the start, but if you find controlling your cannon difficult, you can adjust the speed and reaction time in the options menu to get the best fit for you.
Centipede Recharged is a good example of bringing back a classic game for a more modern audience. The changes they have made are welcome, and don’t take anything away from the core gameplay. On the flip side, there isn’t much here to get excited about if you are not familiar with the classic game. Most modern gamers may not click with the simple gameplay and the “one life, one chance” concept. For fans of the original or classic games in general, you will have a blast with Centipede Recharged. For everyone else, I say give it a try and you might like what you experience.
Atari provided us with a Centipede Recharged PS4 code for review purposes.