A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
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.
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Products & Purchases
The game actively promotes in-app purchases, specifically encouraging players to purchase power-ups and additional levels. These tools aren't necessary, however.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.