Now, this brings back some fond gaming memories. I used to spend many an hour playing Centipede on my Atari 800XL. It came on a ROM cartridge (remember them?) which you simply plugged into the slot in the top of the machine. 
Of course, there was no waiting around for fancy intros and video sequences back in the 80s, and you simply got on and enjoyed playing the actual game. That is, unless you were loading the game from a tape deck, of course, in which case you could be waiting around for up to 20 minutes, or forever if you didn't clean the tape heads!

The video clip above features a review of the arcade coin-op game. I'm not sure I ever played on one of these, but I'd really love one in my games room. Actually, I'm not rich enough to own a games room - it's just a spare room full of junk, but it sounds better!

A Brief History

Centipede was one a very few games from the early eighties that was had a large female following. It was programmed and designed by Dona Bailey (one of the very limited number of women programmers from this era) and Ed Logg, who also helped to develop the sequel Millipede, as well as other popular Atari games such as Asteroids and Super Breakout.

There were many unofficial clones of the game including Aqua Attack (for the BBC computers), Bug Blaster (for the C64 and BBC/Acorn) and Mushroom Alley (C64). Milton Bradley (MB) Games also produced an official Centipede board game.
Official Atari Centipede T-shirt