Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Atari Millipede (Proto) -Atari 5200
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 5200 Super System console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewAtari Millipede for Atari 5200 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Millipede (Proto)
Manufacturer: Atari
Platform: Atari 5200
Release Date: (1984)
Part #: CX5248
Rating: 4 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Atari Millipede Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Atari Millipede Screenshot:
Atari Millipede for Atari 5200 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

Despite appearing in Atari catalogs with a March 1984 release date, Millipede was never released for the Atari 5200. It was planned for all 4 of Atari's devices of that era, but only made it to the 2600 VCS and 400/800 computers. It never arrived for the 5200 & 7800. Only the ROM has made it into the public's grasp - as far as the 5200 release is concerned.

I wasn't into Centipede back in my arcade days, but I did like Millipede. Maybe it was the inclusion of the DDT Bombs that did it for me. Although Millipede never reached the critical acclaim of it's predecessor, Centipede, I found it to be more fun. It featured a host of new enemies like Earwigs, Inchworms, Dragonflies, and Beetles.

If you've played Millipede on the 2600, you'll love it on the 5200! The 2600 had nice quick game play, but the graphics were not too impressive. With the 5200 version, you can more easily identify enemies and the mushrooms look like mushrooms, not hyphens :)

Millipede Story Arc

Rid your garden of those bothersome bugs! An army of menacing millipedes - cousins to the famed Centipede - have invaded your garden patch, and you must shoot arrows at them to rid your plot of these pesky pests. But wait! The millipedes aren't the only insidious insects you have to destroy. Jumping spiders, buzzing bees, bouncing beetles, mosquitoes, dragonflies, inchworms, and earwigs all have unique and deadly powers of their own!

Holy shit! Check this out...
Millipede (originally called Centipede Deluxe) was the sequel to Centipede and arrived in arcades in upright and cocktail formats in November 1982. DDT bombs were a nice strategic addition and an interesting choice since the pesticide had been banned in the US since 1972.
It was colorless, tasteless, nearly odorless and scientists knew very little of it's potential impact on the ecology. This was particularly upsetting due to DDT's widespread agricultural use.

Millipede Game Play

As with many arcade ports to the Atari 5200, Millipede looks and plays well on this console. I'm not a fan of the 5200 joysticks, but the arcade controls for Millipede work well with it's available options.

For me, the game play seems more manic than Centipede. I've always found both games difficult, but Millipede seems to offer a more frantic pace with it's varied enemies and DDT bombs.

As a child of the 70's, I remember my Mom having a substantial stockpile of DDT long after the ban. It was one of the few products that really knocked out the bugs. They didn't reappear after a dose from that bottle. It's effectiveness probably spoke volumes as to its health threat to anything living - humans included. We didn't use it much, but when we needed to evict a pest, DDT was very permanent.

If you're a fan of arcade ports for the Atari 2600 that were also released for the 5200, you'll be pleasantly surprised by this ROM file. It's a shame it wasn't released since it's a good game that plays well and looks great. It's poor performance in arcades may be the reason it wasn't officially released for the Atari 5200.

Atari 5200 Super System console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Atari Millipede

was no where as successful as other Atari sequels, but that wasn't due to the game play. Like a sequel, it was a tough game, offered more than it's predecessor and was fun. It's mysterious failure, which cost Atari, may be part of it's no-show status on the 5200 & 7800. The ROM is definitely worth a play if you're a 5200 fan!

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