Review – Centipede: Recharged

This is the first review I’m writing for an Atari game after the release of their long overdue Atari VCS console, a brand new era for the revived company. Whether that console will end up becoming a niche hit or a tremendous failure remains to be seen, but one thing Atari absolutely needs to do is deliver a few good games to make its machine, as well as its brand, more enticing to modern audiences. The first game in their post-VCS era is Centipede: Recharged, a remake/reboot/sequel to one of their most enduring (and very old) franchises, Centipede… which I’m actually able to play on the Switch.

Centipede: Recharged Graphics

Centipede: Recharged looks appealing in a retro kind of way, albeit not as appealing as Missile Command: Recharged.

Let’s not discuss marketing choices, because who knows what the hell is going on with the VCS. I still haven’t seen one, and don’t know how long those will be available out in the wild. Let’s focus on Centipede: Recharged and the fact that, well, it does what it advertises. It’s Centipede alright. Almost to a tee, it’s basically the same forty year old arcade game you know and (possibly) love. As always you’re tasked with killing tons of bugs which will split in smaller, but faster bugs the more you shoot at them, all while creating a gigantic barricade of mushroom looking thingies scattered through the battlefield. Keep doing that until you eventually die, then upload your score to an online leaderboard.

The game follows the same revival premise initially showcased in last year’s Missile Command: Recharged. But while that game featured brand new elements that actually improved its lasting appeal when compared to its horrendously flawed predecessors, Centipede: Recharged‘s improvements are more minute. With the exception of a few power-ups that are handed over with a lot of generosity, most improvements are either in its visuals and soundtrack, even if the latter is the epitome of forgettable. We are used to seeing vector-based recreations of Centipede, so this brand new art style, while pretty good, is not as impactful as the revamp seen in Missile Command: Recharged.


A few power-ups, a brand new vector-based coat of paint, and leaderboards: that’s what new here, in a nutshell.

Centipede: Recharged is, well, for better or worse, just more Centipede. This is a reboot/remake that absolutely does not try to reinvent the wheel. Its vector-like visuals fit perfectly with the source material, its controls are serviceable, and for the most part, it delivers in what it wants to offer: be a less cumbersome way to play a classic arcade game on a modern system. There’s also the added novelty of playing it on-the-go, if you decide to pick it up on the Switch. It’s not necessarily going to convert anyone to the church of the ten thousand-legged demons, but if you’re a fan of the franchise, go for it. It’s better than playing it on the Atari Flashback Classics compilation.


Graphics: 7.0

It follows the same style from last year’s Missile Command: Recharged, but with less impactful visual effects, resulting in a neat, but less visually impressive retro throwback of a game.

Gameplay: 7.0

With the exception of the handful of power-ups that will be given to you every twenty seconds or so, very little has changed in terms of gameplay.

Sound: 5.0

It’s not terrible, but I can’t, for the life of me, remember a single note uttered in that game the millisecond I turn it off.

Fun Factor: 6.0

Centipede: Recharged is, well, Centipede. Love it or hate it, it’s the same damn thing it has always been, but with the added benefit of a new coat of paint, leaderboards, and the novelty of portability. 

Final Verdict: 6.5

Centipede: Recharged is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, Switch, and Atari VCS.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Centipede: Recharged was provided by the publisher.