Those of a certain age will remember the original Tempest from way back when, and Tempest 4000 aims to bring those memories flooding back by staying true to the original gameplay. It does this and more, by taking the original wire frame playing field and adding psychedelic backdrops and particle effects.
You play as the Claw, a spacecraft with which you control around the edge of the wire frame playing field and have to destroy enemy craft and other obstacles as they come towards you, there’s power ups to collect that give you better weapons, and abilities, such as jump, super helpful when the enemies get to your edge of the wire frame and start moving along it. As you progress through the game the playing fields take different shapes with ever increasing amounts and types of enemies to deal with.
Controls are very simple and easy to learn, however, learning when and where to use things such as the aforementioned jump and other powerups is a must to make it far through the game’s 100 levels. There’s three game modes to play, Pure, Survival and Classic. Although other than the amount of lives available, I couldn’t really tell these apart. The game also features local and online leaderboards so the challenge is there for those highscore hunters.
There’s really not much else to Tempest 4000 and here’s where I found a sticking point, it does have a hefty price tag for what it is. Don’t get me wrong, It’s fun and challenging and will definitely take you on trip down memory lane if you played the original, but $30 does seem a little steep. Visually the game is good, while staying true to the original, it does feel modern with it’s funky backgrounds and particle effects. The audio is however a bit of a let down. While all the usual shooting and explosion noises are present they are accompanied by a single music track that plays on and on, you’ll definitely want to mute, or cue up your own playlist if wanting to play for a long period of time.