Still hot from the Jaguar is Tempest 2000. This arcade make of the or graphics brings two new levels with all-new graphics, great music and fast-paced action. There are even bonus levels where you can rack up lots of points.
This game will heat up your PC like no other. Tired of slow-paced adventures? Just install this one and prepare to rock. The arcade has come home, although it's a little late.
Download Tempest 2000
This Windows 95 game is the latest and most elaborate remake of the original Atari video game Tempest, released in 1981. As with any re-release of a classic, there is a difficult choice whether to (1) retain the essential look-and-feel of the original and simply port it to a new gaming platform, or (2) add lots of new features and bells and whistles, and risk contaminating the gameplay that made the original so successful. Unlike the mediocre version of Tempest contained within Microsoft Arcade released a few years ago, which added virtually nothing to the original and could not match its excitement, Interplay's Tempest 2000 strikes an almost perfect balance between faithfulness and fresh innovation.
The storyline is so irrelevant that it is not even fully presented. You simply find out that you are in control of a "blaster ship" that is defending your sector of "the web" against a seemingly endless stream of aliens. These enemies emerge from the core of the web via a number of discrete corridors. The enemies include flippers, spikers, spikes, fuseballs, pulsars, tankers, mirrors, demon heads, and UFOs. You score points by destroying aliens, collecting power-ups, and completing higher levels (the game contains over 90 levels and warp bonus worlds). There are three versions of the game included: Tempest Plus, which is most similar to the original Tempest but adds the assistance of artificially intelligent "droids;" Tempest 2000, which in addition to the droids adds numerous extra enemies and game play options; and Tempest Duel, which allows you to play against a human opponent.
The gameplay in this arcade game is fast, smooth, and highly addictive (as with many Windows 95 games, the use of DirectX drivers greatly facilitates this process). This is one case where the claim that it is a "3D arcade action" game really rings true, and one has to move adeptly from corridor to corridor to kill the aggressors before they close in. I find myself changing when I play it into a mode different from that I experience in most other action games, requiring intensity and concentration that far exceed what the others require. The artificial intelligence of enemies in the game is uniformly excellent. The game is best played with a joystick or game pad, as the keyboard is a bit slow and clumsy for a game like this; the mouse is not supported during gameplay because of the diverse nature of the movement required. The interface could not be more straightforward, as you literally simply point and shoot. Even the method for recording high scores is stylish and fun. You are not required to work your way up linearly from the first web, as you nicely get to choose from a variety of web starting points at the outset.
The graphics are very good -- colorful and beautiful in an abstract way -- and are a vast improvement both over the original video version and over earlier versions on the PC. But this is the one area where I feel even a bit more could have been done: while the webs are stunning with their multicolored pastels, the blaster ship and most of the enemies are still mono-color, without an attempt even to do crude texturing or 3D shading. The animations during gameplay are awesome despite their technical simplicity.
The "techno-rave" soundtrack provides scintillating music that is a perfect background to the game's incredible excitement. The sound effects, as well as the voice clips that are interspersed in the gameplay, serve adroitly to heighten the frenzied atmosphere. There is no real innovation here, but everything is extremely well done, and all of the game's audio elements are well integrated with each other.
The included Instruction Manual is quite sketchy, and a minor glitch is that the on-line help does not function properly. The "readme" file simply repeats what is in the manual. These documentation deficiencies are not real drawbacks because of the highly intuitive nature of the gameplay.
Windows 95: 486 DX2-66 CPU, 8 MB RAM, 2 MB hard disk space, CD-ROM drive, SVGA video card with 1 MB RAM, SoundBlaster-compatible audio card (I repeat this last requirement as stated, even though native Windows 95 applications make SoundBlaster compatibility unessential)
DOS: DOS 5.0 or higher operating system, 550 KB conventional memory free, 256 KB EMS memory free, 2 MB hard disk space, CD-ROM drive, VGA video card, SoundBlaster-compatible audio card
Both sets of requirements are relatively modest compared to many recently-released arcade games.
I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this game most highly both to those who loved the original and to those who want the ultimate challenge in exciting arcade action in an abstract setting. Given that it builds upon an established classic, the game does not possess unsurpassed originality; and given that it relies on simple geometric shapes, the game lacks the realism of some of the more detailed simulations out on the market. But in my considerable gaming experience I have yet to encounter any arcade action software that is more fun to play or harder to quit.