Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Living in the 80s!

If you grew up in the 80s and spent any amount of time in a video arcade you are familiar with Centipede. Atari's Centipede is now available for the iPhone/Touch for $4.99 at the App Store.
Atari has added a few tricks by giving you 3 game modes, you can play the classic game in aptly named "Classic mode." Classic mode is true to the original arcade version except that firing is now continuous, movement of the shooter is via the touchscreen. The touchscreen is the best replacement for the arcade roller-ball I have played to date, including all the video game console releases of Centipede. Place your thumb on the green glowing circle on the touchpad area underneath the game screen, move your thumb around to move the shooter, allowing you to jump from one side to the other very quickly, just like with the arcade roller ball.
Atari has added Ultra mode and Arcade mode as well. With the Ultra mode the game includes 9 different "power ups" giving you extra firepower to kill the bad guys. The graphics are intense and there is a lot going on, somewhat reminiscent of the kaos in Robotron. The Arcade mode uses the same jazzed up graphics as the Ultra mode, but with classic game play, no use of power ups. The graphics on Ultra and Arcade are intensive and with the current version you will notice slight slow downs, even on a second generation Touch, hopefully a point release will solve the issue.
Overall, Atari did a nice job with Centipede by offering 1 and 2 player options, staying true to the original look and feel of the arcade game with the Classic version, while adding interesting new graphics and game play options with the two new versions, Ultra and Arcade. The touchscreen is definitely a winner for Centipede control!

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