Once again Hasbro and Atari transport us back to the days of Reaganomics and roller rinks, this time via the game.com version of Centipede. Just like the venerable old stand-up version, the game.com port has you piloting around blowing up centipedes, spiders, and other sinister garden pests. And like previous classic ports (think Joust, Defender, Robotron and Frogger for the game.com), you know just what you're getting into.
While the latest manifestation of Centipede is no box of surprises, the game.com does a great job, as usual, of providing an old-school gaming experience. While there's no little track ball, you still move your little gun in four directions on the screen, trying to blast through the mushrooms that are left when a part of the Centipede dies. The goal is simple enough: blast the baddies before they bum rush you. Succeed, and you get to continue through level after mind-numbing level of the stuff. Repetition is inevitable unless you're a big fan of the game, and having a soft spot for baseball sleeves helps.
The game.com version stays true to the original, right down to the blips and buzzes that are ingrained in every twenty-something's soul. The updated mode adds a little shading, and there are options to give yourself what amounts to unlimited lives and play. Sure, your score can suffer, but you can keep plugging through levels for as much time as you have.
As usual, this isn't the game to make the game.com a must-have item, but it fits nicely into the veritable library of classic arcade titles available for the ultra price efficeint portable system. While sitting in your living room with a disc full of classic video games is nice, the old titles tend to be the most impressive on little systems like the game.com, and become even more appealing when away from home. A pocketfull of game.com arcade classics can make those commuter blues much easier to deal with.