The gameplay of Millipede is similar to Centipede but differs mostly in enemies:
- Earwig: same as the scorpion in Centipede, making mushrooms poisonous so that the millipede will charge straight to the bottom of the screen.
- Bee: same as the flea in Centipede, dropping mushrooms in a vertical line and requiring two shots to kill.
- Spider: same behavior as in Centipede, bouncing irregularly across the lower portion of the screen. Multiple spiders can appear at the same time on higher levels.
- Inchworm: when hit, slows all enemies for a short period of time.
- Beetle: crawls around the player area for a while, then climbs up and leaves the screen, turning any mushrooms it touches into indestructible flowers. When hit, everything on the screen scrolls down one row.
- Dragonfly: similar to the bee, but zigzags down and can be destroyed with a single shot.
- Mosquito: bounces off the sides of the screen as it descends. When hit, everything on the screen scrolls up one row.
- DDT bomb (stationary): can be blown up with one shot, destroying all enemies and mushrooms within the blast radius. Whenever the mushrooms scroll down, a new bomb is added at the top of the screen. Up to four bombs can be in play at one time.
All flowers and poisoned/partially destroyed mushrooms revert to normal, whole mushrooms when the player loses a life.
At regular intervals during the game, the player will face a swarm of enemies (bees, dragonflies, etc.) instead of the usual millipede. Each enemy destroyed awards increasing points, maxing out at 1000 points per enemy; this attack ends when either the entire swarm has passed or the player loses a life. Also, at intervals new mushrooms will grow on the field while others die off, in a pattern similar to Conway's Game of Life.
On March 24, 2010, the Atari 2600 port of Millipede was one of the launch titles for the Xbox 360 and Games for Windows LIVE service, Game Room. The arcade version of Millipede was made available in Game Room on May 26, 2010.
Donald Hayes, of New Hampshire, USA, scored a world record 10,627,331 points playing Millipede on December 26, 2004.
The highest Millipede score played under tournament settings is 6,995,962 points, also by Hayes.
In the default high-scores table of the arcade, the initials "FXL" and "ED" can be read. They refer to "Ed Logg" (designing and programming)) and "Franz Lanzinger" (who helped a bit in designing and testing). They had to appear this way because in that time Atari didn't allow their programmers' full names to be in credits of the game
- "Millipede Review". http://gamefreaks365.com/review.php?artid=1629. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
- Twin Galaxies' Marathon Millipede High Score Rankings (Retrieved 27 December 2009).
- Twin Galaxies' Tournament Millipede High Score Rankings (Retrieved 27 December 2009).
- Retro Gamer issue 76, page 27 (Q&A)
- Millipede at Museum of the Game
- Atari's official online version of Millipede
- Home versions of Millipede' at MobyGames
- Millipede wiki guide at StrategyWiki