Jeff Minter making Tempest 4000 for Atari

Jeff Minter is revisiting Tempest later this year in Tempest 4000, the creature wearing the skin of Atari announced today. This is mighty surprising, considering Minter has said the creature tried to kill his TxK, the Tempest-ish shooter he released in 2014. Their apparent reconciliation is definitely welcome news, mind. No one does loud, colourful, intense, and silly arcade action just like Minter. He was behind Tempest 2000, the widely-admired Tempest remake first released on Atari Jaguar, and has only grown more Minterly across the years through games including Space Giraffe and Polybius.

At this point, the creature wearing the skin of Atari have nothing to show of Tempest 4000 – not even a logo. (In the absence of anything, I’ve used a TxK screenshot 🡑 up there.) This should be worrying.

The creature is notorious for releasing bad games trying to coast on the former glories of old brands. RollerCoaster Tycoon World was a duffer. Early access survival sandbox Asteroids: Outpost was a mystifying use of the Asteroids name, and one that was quietly abandoned then pulled from sale. Even using the Atari name is iffy, as it’s been sold several times to different companies (these days, the skin is worn by Infogrames).

And yet I am excited. Surely even the creature wearing the skin of Atari can’t ruin a Tempest-y Jeff Minter game. Well, other than when they try to kill ’em.

In 2015, Minter alleged that the creature wearing the skin of Atari’s lawyers tried to shut down TxK, wanting Minter to pull it from sale and never make anything Tempest-ish ever again. Minter said their complaints include the claim that TxK must have had access to the source code of Tempest 2000 – a game Minter himself wrote. The other accusations he said they made sound just as silly. TxK is still on sale but, sadly, Minter never did release a PC version.

Atari and Minter do seem to have settled things now.

“I am very happy to work with Atari again to bring a long-awaited sequel of Tempest to our legion of fans and a new generation of gamers worldwide,” Minter said in today’s announcement.

Tempest 4000 is coming to PC this year during the “holiday season”, so November/December-ish. I trust that Jeff Minter can make another ridiculous shooter full of colours and particles and slogans and noises and llama references.

Minter’s most recent game, Polybius, is also on its way to PC.


  1. mrentropy5 says:

    I wonder if they’re going to get him to port it to their “new console.”

    I wonder if they’ve figured out what they’re going to do about a “new console.”

    • ZIGS says:

      The new console will never happen because it’ll rely on crowdfunding and at this point, I don’t think there’s a lot of people out there dumb enough to bet on Atari (well, the creature wearing it’s skin, that is)

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Is there a creature wearing the skin of Infogrames too? They used to make some really good games, back in the day (Dragon 32 and MSX days, that is)

      • MajorLag says:

        If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that one should never underestimate the stupidity of people.

  2. The Bitcher III says:

    I’m almost sure I’ve said it before, but there’s something incredibly comforting about Geoff still producing versions of (essentially) the same game after 35 years. It’s never been less than state of the art.

  3. Blake Casimir says:

    It must, obviously, have a hardcore / techno / rave soundtrack for maximum effect:

    • fish99 says:

      That soundtrack version isn’t the original in-game music btw, it’s been remixed and had a ton of horrible reverb added. The original was a lot punchier.

      The video ‘Tempest 2000 – Minds Eye – Atari Jaguar’ (on YT) has the original music.

    • kavika says:

      Speaking of soundtracks for llamasoft games:

  4. MajorLag says:

    Minter is also responsible (unsurprisingly) for Tempest 3000, the only reason anyone bothered to write a Nuon emulator, or for that matter even remember that the Nuon exists.

  5. SpinyNorman says:

    Nice screenie, Minter is Lord

    link to