Publisher: Atari, Inc.
Developer: SneakyBox, Adamvision Studios, SneakyBox, Inc.
Release: September 29th, 2021
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 5
Growing up in the 80s, arcades have always been a large part of my childhood and some of my favorite games of all time are arcade games. Asteroids, Pacman, Buck Rogers, are just a few of my all time favorites. One game that is also in my top five favorite arcade games is Centipede. So when I was given the chance to review Centipede: Recharged, I was excited, but also a bit cautious. Reviving classics is not an easy feat and in fact, I’ve played plenty of arcade remakes that just totally missed the mark. Luckily, Centipede: Recharged took the base of a great game and added modern elements that make this version a game worth playing.
The first thing I’ll mention is how addictive it is. Each play through is pretty short in comparison, and unlike the arcade, you are given one life. Once you die, your run is over and you are taken to the leaderboards to show how you did compared to others. Yes, there are leaderboards! And not only are there leaderboards, they are done well! There are leaderboards for world ranking, friend ranking, and local (based on the profiles on your system that played the game). One grip I have about the leaderboards, you can’t scroll through them. They show you where your rank is, but you can’t scroll up to see the top score.
There are two different game modes, arcade and challenge and in both modes you can play single player or local co-op. The arcade mode is pretty straight forward, you compete to get the highest score possible. The challenge mode however, offers a different way to play, presenting you a challenge to beat. Plus there are leaderboards for each of the challenges as well. Some examples of the challenges include destroying 45 mushrooms (your score is based on how quickly you can do this challenge) or killing 35 fleas (again, your score is based on your time). And there are quite a few challenges for you to complete. The challenges are locked and can be unlocked by beating the challenges prior.
The game also offers achievements too. For example, there is an achievement called “Beat ‘em up” which is completed when you have killed a total of 1000 centipedes over your course of play. The achievements have a date and time stamp so you can see when you completed each achievement. It’s an interesting feature to keep you hooked to come back to play more.
The gameplay itself is pretty straightforward. You’re allowed to move around the bottom third of the screen while the top two thirds of the screen is covered with mushrooms, invading centipedes, fleas, and scorpions. The centipedes move horizontally, left and right, and will move down a row if they run into a mushroom or hit the end of the screen. Scorpions will also move horizontally across the screen at a much quicker rate, but they don’t move down at all. What scorpions do however, is cause some of the mushrooms to be poisoned, by touching the mushrooms in their path. If a centipede happens to touch a poisonous mushroom, they will go straight down to the bottom of the screen.
The other thing that was added to the game are timed power ups. You get the powerups by shooting the spiders that also traverse in the lower third of the screen. The powerups include rapid fire, bombs, explosive shot, and spread shot, just to name a few. The powerups add a different dynamic to the original game and add to the addictiveness to the game, as you’ll find yourself saying “If only I had this powerup, I could have gotten farther in my run”.
Outside of the gameplay, the visuals and the audio of the game have been enhanced too. The game retains a lot of the retro look to it, but adds a neat neon color that gives it a modern splash. The music in the game is very reminiscent of the loud, thumping beats of the old arcades. It’s catchy and gets the job done.
Final Grade: B+
Centipede: Recharged captures the essence of the original game and adds a whole bunch of features that modernizes your experience with the game. Including the leaderboards and challenges is a slick way to keep you coming back for more. The addition of powerups is brilliant. The game is very addictive and at $10, it’s a good arcade game to own. If $10 seems a bit steep, wait for this game to go on sale, but add it to your wishlist if you are a fan of this arcade classic.
Review code provided by StridePR.