The Game: Centipedes, spiders and fleas invade your garden of ‘shrooms. Spiders follow an evasive course and can collide with you at any moment. Fleas poison the mushrooms, making them impervious to your fire (and thus giving the centipede impenetrable cover). And the centipede itself can split into many segments, and if it reaches the bottom of the screen, will turn around and start to move upward again, possibly catching you from behind. Every time you manage to completely “debug” the screen, you move up to a harder level. (Atari, 1982)
Memories: Centipede was a huge arcade hit, so it’s no wonder Atari wasted no time in creating the home translation. Though the Atari 2600 version of the game couldn’t compete with its arcade ancestor’s colorful graphics, the home version did get the point across.
If the visuals weren’t quite as finely detailed as the arcade game’s, the cartridge did at least get the sound right. It was also an excellent game to play with either Wico or Atari’s trackball controllers instead of a joystick. Between those two things, you got within throwing distance of the arcade Centipede experience.
Atari later turned Centipede‘s sequel, Millipede, into a 2600 cartridge as well.