This wildly popular tunnel shooter is just not the same without a rotary paddle controller. Tempest also suffers from graphics that can be hard to see, though it can still provide a visceral thrill and classic arcade experience like no other.
You pilot a claw-shaped craft that rides around the edges of 16 different stages and fires at five types of enemies that make their way from the centre of the screen. You are armed with a rapid-fire laser and a screen clearing Superzapper that can be used once per level. Using the Superzapper a second time in a level will destroy a random enemy.
If you make it through all 16 levels, the game will swap colour palettes and begin again, albeit with more difficult enemies that appear in greater numbers.
Though it remains technically functional in its transition to Xbox LIVE Game Room, Tempest was meant for the speed and precision of a rotary paddle controller.
There are techniques that are quite simply impossible using a control stick or d-pad and players that were good at this game in the 1980’s will find it extremely difficult to perform at a high level because your ship does not move fast enough. There is no option to use the triggers of the Xbox 360 controller for left/right movement.
Difficulty is also falsely increased by vector graphics that can be tough to see. Darker coloured enemies don’t stand out against the black background and the lines are extra thin because of the game’s vertical orientation, which appears rather small on a widescreen display.
Tempest does provide fast-paced action and features a cool aesthetic that clearly influenced Geometry Wars and great sound that helps suck you in to the game.
+ Fast-Paced Action
+ Cool Neon Aesthetic and Great Sound
– Missing Speed and Accuracy of Rotary Paddle Controller
– Vector Graphics are Hard to See
– No Option to Use Triggers for Control