Centipede and Breakout Return to Arcades

Midway utilizes its Atari connection to bring classics back for a second go. Although Hasbro recently purchased Atari Corp. and its game licenses, Midway's ownership of Atari Games gives the company the rights to Atari's library of games for release in the arcade. Hasbro's rights are limited to the home market.

At the Amusement Showcase International '98 (AMI), Midway unveiled its new, restaurant-style TouchMaster 4000 unit. This is a versatile machine that features a large library of touch-screen games such as Solitaire, Shanghai, and the ever-popular Strip Poker. Among the twenty nine different games on the games are two old-time favorites: Centipede and Breakout.

Centipede Returns is basically the same as the original that heavily utilizes the extremely sensitive touch screen. Instead of the trackball found in the real thing, players simply drag their index finger across the playfield (the pod fires automatically), shooting the continuing army of centipedes, spiders, fleas, and scorpions. The game is time-based rather than life-based, and shooting clock powerups will increase the playtime.

Breakout 3000 is not a remake of the Jaguar game. It is essentially Breakout with unique power-ups, but not quite making it as obscure as Arkanoid. Again, players simply drag their finger to move the paddle left and right.

While both games are not massively overhauled remakes of their respective predecessors, we are quite sure that they'll become one of the most played games on the TouchMaster. Our only beef is with the lack of trak-ball (for Centipede) and rotary (for Breakout) controllers. After all, do YOU want to know where the previous player's fingers have been?

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