Grey background with gradient green graph lines. Illustration of a cartoon centipede at the top looking down at the text as if ready to pounce. The game logo CENTIPEDE is in dark green, "New and only from" in a red script, followed by the ATARI logo in orange.
@1983 ATARI, INC. All rights reserved 8-11/82-882
Centipede was originally released by Atari in 1981 as an arcade game. Drop a quarter in and the centipede emerges at the top of the screen, scrolling down through a mushroom patch. The player manipulates a trackball controller and single button to fire at, and hopefully kill, the insect segment by segment before it reaches them at the bottom. Add some fleas, scorpions, spiders and catchy sound effects and that's Centipede.
Of the early video games, Centipede's design team was one of the few to include the rare female, software engineer Dona Bailey. She has later discussed gaming culture at the time, mostly a male industry, and how she ended up working on Centipede. Trying to avoid the overabundance of violent shoot-em-up games, she chose Centipede because although it included shooting, "it didn’t seem that bad to shoot a bug.”
Centipede for Atari home system. View a dealer ad for Centipede.