TempestBuy this gameAs a strangely crablike creature, you scuttle along the rim of an abstract, hollow geometric tube, zapping red bow-tie-ish critters and purple diamond-shaped things which carry them. There are also swirly green things (swirly thing alert!!) which spin “spikes” like webs, and by the way, you should avoid spikes. See below. (Atari, 1980)

See the videoMemories: Tempest is a bizarre little game to crack. Since you spend your time rolling around a vaguely tubular structure, the game is controlled with a knob only, and surprisingly, the speed with which you move the control is reflected in your onscreen speed. With some practice, Tempest was a truly addictive, engrossing game, one of the arcade’s best.

TempestTempest‘s home-game heyday didn’t come until long after the age of such machines as the Atari 2600, although a prototype of an Atari 2600 version of the game was revealed at Classic Gaming Expo 2000. Microsoft’s original Microsoft Arcade package, which included other Atari chestnuts such as Centipede, Asteroids, Missile Command and Battlezone, had a fantastic PC adapatation of Tempest, very faithful to the original.

5 quarters!U.K. game programmer latched onto Tempest and made it his own with a near-psychedelic Jaguar remake called Tempest 2000 (later ported to the Playstation as Tempest X3), and the game has steadily appeared on Atari retro compilations ever since hardware with the ability to handle the ferocious speed of the game was a given.

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