Millipede is an arcade game developed by Atari and released in 1982. Millipede is the sequel to Centipede and the original title for the game was ‘Centipede Plus’. The game play is similar to Centipede with a number of new features:
- The Earwig acts the same as the scorpion in Centipede and makes the mushrooms poisonous which will cause the millipede to drop to the bottom of the screen.
- The Bee is the same as the flea in Centipede, dropping mushrooms in a line.
- The Spider behaves the same as in Centipede. More than one spider can appear at the same time on higher levels.
- The Inchworm slows all enemies, for a short period of time, when hit.
- The Beetle moves around, then climbs up, turning any mushrooms it touches into invincible flowers. When it is hit, everything on the screen moves down one row.
- The Dragonfly drops mushrooms while zigzagging down the screen.
- The Mosquito bounces off the sides of the screen as it descends. When it is hit, everything on the screen moves up one row.
- The DDT bomb can be blown up, destroying all enemies and mushrooms within the blast radius. Whenever the mushrooms scroll down, a new DDT bomb is added at the top of the screen. Up to four DDT bombs can be in play at one time.
One of the neat things about Millipede is that it allows you to start at different point values. Thus, an experienced player can skip some of the easier levels. The Millipede arcade units ran off of standard Atari hardware of the time with a trackball, a fire button, a single 6502 CPU, and two Pokey chips. Millipede was a moderate hit for Atari, but did not sell as well as Centipede. Millipede was ported to a number of systems including the Atari 2600, Atari 8-bit computers, and the NES. A version was developed for the 5200, but was never officially released.
Millipede for the 2600 was released in 1984 and is one of the more challenging carts to find as this was during the video game crash and not as many carts were produced. Fortunately, Millipede was included as one of the games on the Atari Flashback 2 and can also be played on a 2600 multi-cart. Like the 2600 version of Centipede, the graphics and sound are lacking, but the game play is solid, the flicker is minimal, and it includes all of the arcade elements. the 2600 version of Millipede uses a 16kb cart which is one of the largest ever used by Atari. You can read more about the 2600 version of Millipede here.
A port of Millipede was developed for the 5200, but never released. The 5200 port looks and plays very close to the arcade version. The graphics and sound are outstanding and all of the enemies are well represented and it even has a cool title screen. Millipede is a blast to play with the normal 5200 controller and even more fun with the 5200 Trakball. At one time AtariAge sold some Millipede carts for the 5200, so you might be able to find one. Otherwise you will need a multi-cart in order to play Millipede for the 5200. I read a review of the 5200 version of Millipede that stated that the 5200 version was too easy. I do find Millipede a little easier to play than Centipede, but the 5200 version plays extremely close to the arcade. You can read more about the 5200 version of Millipede here.