Tempest is a 1981 vector arcade game developed and published by Atari Inc. It was designed and programmed by Dave Theurer.
The game is played from a third-person perspective, with the player controlling a “claw”-shaped spaceship that moves along the edge of a three-dimensional surface divided into lanes, sometimes as a closed tube, and viewed from one end. The player must destroy enemies that move along the surface, as well as stationary targets that can be destroyed to earn bonus points.
The game was one of the first to use Atari’s Color-QuadraScan vector display technology, which allowed for smooth, flicker-free graphics. It was also the first to let players choose their starting level (a system Atari called “SkillStep”).
Tempest was a critical and commercial success, and it is considered to be one of the most important video games of all time. It is credited with popularizing the vector graphics genre and with helping to establish Atari as a major player in the video game industry.
Here are some of the features of Tempest that made it a classic arcade game:
- Unique gameplay: Tempest is a unique game that is unlike any other vector game. The player controls a “claw”-shaped spaceship that moves along the edge of a three-dimensional surface, and the enemies move along the surface in a variety of patterns. This made the game challenging and exciting, and it helped to set Tempest apart from other games in the genre.
- Challenging difficulty level: Tempest is a challenging game, even for experienced players. The enemies are aggressive, the bullets are plentiful, and the game is easy to get lost in. This made the game more rewarding for players who were able to succeed.
- Innovative gameplay mechanics: Tempest introduced a number of innovative gameplay mechanics that are still used in vector games today. These include the ability to rotate the playing field, the ability to collect power-ups, and the ability to destroy enemies in a variety of ways.
Tempest is a classic arcade game that is still enjoyed by players today. It is a challenging game with innovative features that helped to shape the future of video games.