A Quick History of Centipede

Do you remember the timeless arcade classic, Centipede? Created in 1981 by Atari, Centipede was part of the Golden Age of Video Games. This influential arcade game paved the way for future video games by providing a variety of ‘firsts’ for the industry.
For those who do not remember playing the game or never had the opportunity to play the classic arcade game back in the ‘80s, the concept of the game was to defend yourself from centipedes, spiders, scorpions and fleas by shooting your laser.
Game play begins with the centipede appearing at the top left or right of the arcade game screen. When this centipede hits one of the various mushrooms throughout the screen, it drops a level and switches directions. Therefore, the more mushrooms on a screen, the faster the centipede charges at the player at the bottom of the screen. The player works to eliminate the centipede and the multiple mushrooms on a screen.

An Innovative Arcade Game

Centipede was actually the first game to employ a trackball and vertical orientation. In addition to the innovative game play, the game was designed by Ed Logg and Dona Bailey. Dona was one of the very few female game programmers during this period of time. This also led to a large following by female gamers for the coin-operated game.

The Legacy of Centipede

The popularity of Centipede grew and grew, and therefore, Millipede was launched as a sequel in 1982. Unfortunately, this arcade game did not create quite as much excitement as its ‘older brother’ did.

Centipede, like many vintage arcade games, was also created for a variety of ports, home systems, and additional platforms such as: