What parents need to know
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.
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.