Atari Centipede Board Gamesearch

Atari Centipede Board Game

Atari Centipede Board Game

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I purchased this game at this year's Gen Con and thought I'd give a mini-review for those interested.

This is a two-player board game that attempts to recreate the Centipede arcade experience, and while it doesn't entirely emulate it, it's pretty close, and should be a fun nostalgia trip for those who are looking for it. The game plays with each player picking their side: one player is the Centipede and bugs, while the other is the gnome (which is the formal officially-licensed explanation for what the player in the arcade is, at least in recent years.)

The Centipede has a series of special ability cards they can play a limited number of times in the game, which allow it to move quickly, spawn bugs, and place mushrooms, among other things. The Player has a series of cards they can play then exhaust, with the ability to refresh the options at a certain point, that allow them to shoot, move, and do a few other things. Players take turns taking an action, until the end of the game.

The Centipede wins if it gets to the bottom of the game board, or a bug hits the Gnome, while the Gnome wins if it destroys the Centipede. While I have only played a couple of rounds of the game, the game mechanics seem to be pretty well-balanced. I had thought being the Centipede would be an easy win going in, but there's a good system of checks and balances in play.

I would also say the board, box, pieces, and cards are well manufactured. At least when I purchased the game at Gen Con (which was a slight pre-mass-distribution version that included extra wooden pieces), the game pieces were wood, the board was good stock, and the cards were well printed and colorful. I paid $45 for it, the basic retail is $40, and the current Amazon/discount price is about $35, so Massdrop's $25 is a good deal.

While the game won't win any design awards, and probably loses its novelty after a few games, it's a fun throwback, and good for both a classic game collector and board gamer. Also looks nice on a collector's shelf.
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