Centipede: Origins

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Centipede: Origins App Poster Image
New take on old classic includes aggressive purchase push.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Centipede: Origins wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Ease of Play

The touchpad is a good substitute for the arcade's trackball -- certainly better than the joystick ever was. Centipede was always a very difficult arcade game, and that remains true here, but it's still an easy game to pick up and learn. 

Violence & Scariness

Players try to destroy attacking insects via a gun (which doesn't make traditional gun sounds) and bombs. No gore is shown, and it's all done in a less-than-cartoon-like fashion. 

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The game actively promotes in-app purchases, specifically encouraging players to purchase power-ups and additional levels. These tools aren't necessary, however. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Centipede: Origins is a new look at the old arcade classic. The gameplay remains the same -- shoot the centipede and other insects before they hit the bottom of the screen -- but it now has a barely-there story on top of it. The app is low cost, but parents should know it aggressively pushes in-app purchases, which kids might not realize are unnecessary. Players can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

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What's it about?

Centipede: Origins players try to stop the descent of a centipede by shooting it, but every time they hit a segment, it turns into a mushroom, which blocks the remaining parts, letting the insect approach in a very zigzag fashion, making it hard to hit. While this goes on, other bugs, such as a beetle, march down the path, placing more mushrooms. Players can buy power-ups, such as bombs to clear mushrooms out of an area or a rapid-fire option for their gun.

Is it any good?

While the tacked-on story and polished graphics aren't a real draw, Centipede: Origins remains true to the original arcade game and should be a fun trip down memory lane for people who fondly remember the quarter gobbler. While the aggressive push of in-app currency is annoying (and unnecessary), nothing being sold is essential. And, in fact, it's more fun to play the game without power-ups and remain true to its heritage. 

Adding gnomes to create a bare-bones background story really does nothing for the game, though. And in the rush to make Centipede pretty, developers actually made it a bit harder. And given that the original was one of the hardest arcade games out there, that's saying something. 

App details

For kids who love arcade games

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