Of a large amount of my childhood spent playing video games, two memories stand out. One is of a line of people, almost literally out the door, all waiting to play the arcade's new game. The other is when I finished a quarter with 11,999 points. Extra lives were awarded every 12,000 points. The game those people were not-so-patiently waiting for, and the game that cruelly teased me over a mere single point, was Centipede. And it was all worth it.
From an explosion of color to some of the most iconic sound effects to come from early '80s arcade games, Centipede has it all, even appeal to women players seldom seen outside of the Pac-Man series. The latter can be attributed to co-designer Dona Bailey's name in the credits, but female comraderie certainly wouldn't be enough if the game wasn't good. Centipede is indeed good, and remained a solid money-maker for many years following its release. Certainly lots of my quarters found their way into Centipede machines, and I'm proud to say I did eventually break the 12,000 point barrier!