Yup, Tempest 4000 looks like a Jeff Minter game

“EAT ELECTRIC DEATH” declares Tempest 4000 as noises and colours and particles and numbers explode all over. Yup, that’s certainly what I’d expect from Jeff Minter’s return to the arcade shooter series. Minter was behind Tempest 2000 and 3000, Minterised remakes for Atari of the ’80s arcade game. But when he tried to make the similar TxK for himself, the creature wearing the skin of Atari sent in their lawyers and got the PC release shut down. I’m astonished that Minter and the creature are now working together but am delighted that Tempest action is coming to PC. Watch this:

Atari had nothing to show of Tempest 4000 when they announced it in August but yup, that makes up for it. It looks a little tame for Minter, if anything, but seems Tempestuous alright. I had worried that the creature not showing anything was a bad omen, especially considering bad things happened when Atari hauled old names out again with games like Asteroids: Outpost and RollerCoaster: Tycoon World, but I hope this will go well.

Tempest 4000 is due out this holiday season, which means I believe is American for ‘kinda sorta November/December-ish’.

Minter’s mega-colourful shooter Polybius is coming to PC at some point too. If you have no patience, hey, Llamasoft’s Tempest-ish Space Giraffe has been here for years – check out Karen Gillan’s review.


  1. Mungrul says:

    Caught that video over on the YakYak forums, and it drove me mental watching the player just watching powerups sail by.

    That said, it looks pretty good and basically TxK++ (which is definitely no bad thing). Not convinced about the added background patterns, but the more detailed enemies are lovely.

    • omf says:

      Same reaction here. I’ll add that it sounds very nice, though I missed hearing any female voice samples. I assume the player wasn’t playing to win but to let us take a good look at the visuals.

      • Mungrul says:

        I think the music’s a placeholder in that vid, as it’s from T2K, and I’m pretty sure the community members over at YakYak who made music for TxK are doing the same for this. May be best if someone involved chips in to clarify though.

  2. someoneelse84 says:

    TxK was so slick on the Vita. Can’t wait for this!

  3. dozurdogbite says:

    the original was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better.

  4. markzero says:

    Waiting for Logitech to come out with a rotary controller.

  5. Brotoles says:

    I always laugh at the “creature wearing the skin of Atari” sentence!! :-)

  6. racccoon says:

    Similar graphics n sound to what we thought was awesome when placing intros in machine code way back when.

  7. fish99 says:

    Hope that’s not the music, that horrible reverb just ruins it.

  8. honkhonkgoose says:

    It’s quite fun to watch Nine Inch Nails’ Less Than video in the context of the embedded gameplay video.

    Also I can’t believe you could still shoot those damned X monster things once they reached the point as your ship was without jumping… no wonder I never did very well at tempest 2000.

    • Uncle Fass says:

      The game in NIN’s Less Than video was Polybius, the last game released by Minter and Co.

      I agree it was a pretty cool video, and also a nice surprise to see the Llamasoft boys get some recognition from a top-shelf musician.

  9. Chorltonwheelie says:

    Be fun to see if my reactions can still master a Minter game three decades after I first played one.
    Would go down nicely with some System 7/Eat Static vibes.

  10. Uncle Fass says:

    It looks like a really dried up version of TxK, which is kind of weird considering they pretty much just had to slap on the ‘Tempest’ name for Atari to resell it.

    Were they forced to program it from scratch or something? I don’t see how they managed to downgrade their own game. Still, I hold hope that Llamasoft will deliver again, even if having a shovelware publisher might hold them back.

  11. Allenomura says:

    “check out Karen Gillan’s review.”
    Were celebrity article writers commonly used, back then – however did you convince her? =D