I have a great fondness for the video game Centipede. Back in the 80s you could find that arcade cabinet everywhere from Pizza Hut to our local dentist! Yes, our local dentist had arcade games in his waiting room. It actually gave us a reason to want to go for a cleaning. I loved playing Centipede and I still do. If an arcade has this game powered up, I'll be there flinging that track ball all over the place in the quest to put my initials in the top score listing. I am very familiar with this game, but recently while on the hunt for retro gold at the local Goodwill store, I found something that I never knew existed...
Centipede: The Board Game released by Milton Bradley in 1983. For only $2 I picked it up. I was so excited when I found the game that I didn't even bother to check and make sure the pieces were inside. I still would have grabbed it even if it was missing a majority of the pieces for the box art alone! It is pure 80s magic! Well, I got the game home and it sat around for a while until my son asked if we could play it. I obliged and we cut the tape and opened the box.
I was very happy to see that we were only missing 3 pieces from the game! A scorpion token, a mushroom token and one of the permanent board mushrooms were missing. These missing pieces were not enough to keep us from being able to play the game. The premise is pretty simple, you spin the wheel and try to make it home before your opponent does. What makes this game fun is that you get to blast the other centipede causing it to loose a segment of it's body.
That right there is the face of horror! We played the game a few times and my son beat me twice by repeatedly popping lasers into my centipede's face, which causes you to not be able to move. They only way to gain back your mobility is to blast the opposing, which then lets you return one of your centipede's body segments. Well, the luck of the game spinner was not with me and baby boy was able to scurry to a victory! It really is a fun game. I am sure we will play again soon so I can avenge my loss!
Who knew a board game based on a video game could be so cool? When I was a kid we had the Ms. Pac-Man board game and that was not a great game. Mostly we just played with the character pieces from the game and made up our own rules. Centipede on the other hand has real re-play value and I'm glad I could enjoy this bit of nostalgia with my kids.