Developer: Atari, Interactive
Price: free Download on the App Store
Centipede is no longer available as a standalone game. To relive this classic, download Atari's Greatest Hits for free to get Centipede via in-app purchase.
Atari has been releasing games for home consoles and arcade machines for more than 30 years and along the way, it has continued to refine and port its games to a wide variety of platforms. Following the arcade-game path laid down by Missile Command and Super Breakout in September, Atari has just released the venerable Centipede for the iPhone.
The object of Centipede, for those were born after the game came out in 1980, is to annihilate a crawly bug as it wends it way through a field of mushrooms starting at the top of the screen. The strategy is to shoot the centipede and mushrooms, which forces the centipede (or its parts) into your line of fire. At frequent intervals, creepy bugs will drop down and land on your head.
Centipede has options for classic, arcade and ultra versions — each level is more graphically pleasing and each with its own power ups. It also has options to set the game at easy, medium and hard. If you would like, the game enables you to turn the music — which is more sophisticated than the original — on/off and vary the volume.
I liked Centipede a lot back in the day and I was more than happy to see it appear on the iPhone. With fond memories aside, Centipede has some bugs, and I don't mean in a good way. The first few times I launched this game it would either hang or crash after playing for only a few minutes.
I turned off the iPhone and restarted it and Centipede seemed to be more stable, at least long enough for me to try several games in the classic, arcade and ultra versions. After that, it hung one time and crashed the other. I couldn't discern what caused the game to go buggy on me — there didn't seem to be a pattern. It's playing fine now (the following day).
So far, none of the reviewers in the App Store have reported having similar problems, but it's still early in the game. Let us know if you encounter any glitches.