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This one's for the baby boomers: Centipede has returned, and if you played it as a kid you’ll feel right at home with this updated iOS edition. Like the 1980’s Atari arcade classic, the object in Centipede: Origins is to clear the screen of insects and arachnids of various types, which are trying to encroach on your territory by moving in various patterns down the game screen.
However, the developers have modernized this version a bit, making it more accessible for casually paced play while adding a basic leveling system for weapons and power-ups. You control your garden gnome -- these are the defenders of the world’s gardens — by dragging it around the touch screen, automatically shooting arrows at creepy crawlies. The responsive touch controls make it easier to stave off the hordes as well, which is helpful.
You also have access to a range of special weapons and items to make your bug hunting easier. If you need a wider ranged shot, try the rapid-fire power-up with the wider spread. If you want to slow down those pesky centipedes (or their myriad six-legged friends), try dragging a time machine on screen that affects any critter that comes within range. The more enemies you kill, the more experience you earn, which in turn unlocks more items and levels you can buy between games. Just watch out for your thumb occasionally blocking your view.
It’s interesting that we now live in an era where old arcade games are being repurposed for a more casual crowd, but Centipede: Origins works well for its simplicity. It may not be the most in-depth game in the world, but if you’re looking to kill a few minutes playing exterminator on your iOS device, it’s not a bad choice.
The bottom line. Like arcade nostalgia? Centipede Origins might be just the bug for you.
iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 4.0 or later
Easy to pick up and play a quick game. Upgradable weapons and items add a little depth.
Very straightforward design can be repetitive. Touch controls sometimes block your view of gameplay.