Centipede is a twist on the vertical shooter game: rather than shooting at an army of aliens or other enemy aircraft, the player shoots at a centipede which winds its way down the screen. The centipede travels horizontally until it hits the edge of a screen or a mushroom, then it drops a level and travels in the other horizontal direction. When the player shoots one of the segments of the centipede, that segment turns into a mushroom and the two halves of the centipede continue on down the screen. The character controlled by the player appears to a snake head whose movement is restricted to the bottom portion of the screen and is controlled by a trackball.
Centipede was designed by Ed Logg and Dona Bailey, and released in 1981 by Atari.