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Tempest 4000


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Release Date: 03/22/2022

Retail: $19.99

Developer(s): Llamasoft

Publisher: Atari

Official Site


"In Tempest 4000, players once again face screaming electric death as they take control of the Claw, a powerful spacecraft equipped to destroy deadly creatures and other obstructions with rapid-fire shots on vibrant geometric prisms. With three game modes to choose from and 100 levels to conquer, players must eliminate all enemies as quickly as possible to survive and achieve that coveted spot at the top of the leaderboards.

The original Tempest, one of the first video games to use 3D vector graphics, represents one of Atari’s hallmark titles and is considered one of the most popular arcade games of all time. It has been featured prominently across pop culture – including in Ernest Cline’s dystopian Ready Player One novel.

Key Features

A Blast from the Past: Take down hordes of enemies in this fast-paced, retro-arcade style shooter

Pick a Mode, Any Mode: Pick from three different game modes including Classic, Pure and Survival that will push your skills to the limit

Level Up: Progress and conquer 100 unique geometric levels by destroying enemies with various weapons and power-ups, and by earning upgrades through bonus rounds

Scale the Leaderboards: Show off your high score in your quest to be recognized as number one

Get Bass Boosted: Enjoy the beats of a thumping soundtrack inspired by early 1990’s techno"

Edited by Sabertooth
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Tempest 4000 was released on PC, XBOX and Playstation in 2018.  At the time, Atari  indicated the game would come to the new PC/Console Hybrid.  This was shot down by Llamasoft maestro Jeff Minter, who indicated that no such VCS port was in the works.  Later, it was clarified that a deal was struck and the game would indeed come to the VCS.  When the VCS was shipped to backers in December 2020, the game's absence was acutely felt by fans of the series.  Some thought it would never arrive.  Fast forward to 2022, the game is announced for both the Atari VCS and the Switch for release on March 22, 2022

I have the PS4 version but I'm thrilled to support it on Atari hardware.  I can't wait to play it with the Classic Controller!

Will you be buying Tempest 4000 on the VCS?



Edited by Sabertooth
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I picked up Tempest 4000 late yesterday. Here are some initial thoughts. I'm curious to know what everyone else thinks.

(+) The core gameplay, audio and visuals feel on par to the PS4 version - which I have for my Pro.

(+) It plays great with the modern controller.

(+) It plays well with the Classic if you spend time to get used to it.

(-) Local and online leaderboards are broken. These will hopefully be fixed in a future update.

(-) Currently, menu navigation using the Classic is a bit of a guessing game. Onscreen icons are for the modern controller. Additonally, some menus don't have mapping for the Classic. For example, you are unable to navigate High Scores between Classic, Pure and Survival with a Classic Controller because the paging function is mapped to RB and LB, which don't appear to have an equivalent on the joystick.

There should be an autodetect for the controller type that updates onscreen display icons and menu settings. The Recharged games do this, why not Tempest?

(-) There are no rotary adjustment settings. While I quickly got used to the default setting I think this should be standard for paddle games. See Thrustlander and the Atari VCS Vault for great examples of this.

Overall, it's not a bad game but strikes me as a bit of a lazy port that is held back from greatness by a lack of QA, polish and fine tuning. If you are a fan of Minter's brand of Tempest and don't sweat the details, it's a ton of fun. But it could have been much better with just a little more care.

Edited by Sabertooth
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I did some quick side-by-side footage of the PS4 version and the VCS version. The PS4 version is on my Pro. 

I didn't notice any significant difference other than the leading edge of each web seeming slightly larger/closer to the screen in the PS4 version.  Also, on the Pro the PS4 version is bumped to 4K. 

Gameplay is nearly identical with the game pad with the exception of the mid-level warp, which uses the the Dualshock 4's gyro.  Overall, minus the small issues with the leaderboard and navigation/on-screen labeling for the Classic, the VCS version holds up nicely compared to the Pro.

But don't take my word for it. See for yourself:


Edited by Sabertooth
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Thanks 😉 I also put up a "Kombinera" launch day first look, and a Recharged Showcase featuring all currently released games!


NO FILTER {SE #3} Atari VCS w/ "Kombinera" (Launch Day Exclusive & First Look!) - YouTube

NO FILTER #28 - Atari VCS 'Recharged Showcase' w/ 5 Great Games! - YouTube


Edited by BallistikCoffeeBoy
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