In the early days, Atari had a development book full of loose game concepts, and Centipede was originally referred to as 'Bug Shooter' until Ed Logg and Dona Bailey developed this concept into Centipede. Interestingly, the designers stated that the game was specifically intended to attract female players, and this influenced the development of the game. Fitting since Dona Bailey was one of the few female game programmers in the industry (after working as a programmer at General Motors).
You defend yourself from an onslaught of centipedes while spiders, fleas, and scorpions interfere. As you blast away centipede segments, more and more mushrooms appear. Everyone knows that killing a centipede spawns a mushroom- just like killing a Final Fight enemy might spawn a cooked turkey. There isn't a ton of backstory to this classic, but a game this fun doesn't really need one.
Tips & Strategies
You can only have one shot onscreen at a time, so plan out your shots wisely to maximize shooting speed.
There are many strategies out there for advanced players, and there is even a book dedicated to mastering Centipede.
The spider's movement is actually not linked to the character- it is quick and unpredictable, but it does not actively hunt you.
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