It might not have 100 legs, but that's okay.
Repackaging classic arcade games for modern audiences has essentially taken two forms: either a compilation with fairly faithful ports or a re-imagined version that changes up the formula in one or more ways. Centipede: Recharged, as the name suggests, falls into the latter camp. It makes some clever adjustments to Centipede's addictive gameplay, and the addition of leaderboards and co-op play, in particular, make Recharged a worthy, bug-filled glow up.
"Glow" is the operative word here, with the computerized, wire frame look of Centipede: Recharged. Even if fairly basic in terms of presentation, the gameplay remains largely compelling. In standard Arcade mode, you compete to survive as long as you can and earn the highest score. Centipedes emerge from the top of the screen and travel from side to side as they make their way down the screen. The bottom half of the screen has a line through it that can't be passed by your ship, and that restriction of movement adds to the challenge. Other creatures like spiders, fleas, and scorpions enter the arena from different places, so you need to keep tabs on every area of the screen to stay alive. Spiders are restricted to roaming around your bottom half of the screen, scorpions travel horizontally in the upper play space and generate poison mushrooms that send centipedes careening down into your space, and fleas shoot straight down from above.
What makes Recharged different from the 1981 arcade release of Centipede is the addition of 30 individual challenge stages, co-op play, and special power-ups dropped by killing spiders. The challenges are all self-contained with their own individual leaderboard, and they task you with earning a certain score, destroying a set number of enemies or surviving for a defined period of time. None of them last too long, but they mix up the gameplay in fun and interesting ways.
Playing multiplayer, either in Arcade mode or the challenges, has its own set of leaderboards. It's also just a great addition on its own that works well for what Recharged is trying to do: create an easy, pick-up-and-play arcade experience. In addition to spreadshot, rapid fire, and slow time power-ups, spiders will also drop extra ships in co-op that allow you to instantly revive your fallen partner.
While there isn't a lot of depth to Centipede: Recharged, it still manages to breathe new life into a 30-year-old arcade staple. In short bursts, Recharged plays well enough to earn a spot in my rotation for sure, and I'll gladly pop in from time to time to check out the various leaderboards. The art style does grow a bit stale the more you see it; some additional color palettes or unlockables would certainly be welcome here. It might not have 100 of them, but as far as arcade revivals go, Centipede: Recharged definitely has legs.