Tempest 2000 is Jeff Minter's remake of the arcade classic Tempest. Minter, a self-professed fan of the original, kept the basic gameplay mostly intact and added new features on top while spicing up the graphics and audio with his trademark psychedelic effects. The original Atari Jaguar game is considered to be the definitive version, with other ports having some redesigned or missing features. However, there is a separate soundtrack that is included in the CD versions of the game; the Jaguar version had MOD music instead.
Tempest 2000 includes Traditional Tempest, a mostly accurate remake of the arcade game. All the new features are found in the Tempest Plus, Tempest 2000 and Tempest Duel modes.
This mode is mostly similar to the original Tempest. It is more difficult, includes new levels and can be played cooperatively with the help of either another player or the AI Droid.
Tempest 2000 has 100 different levels, with color changes every 15 levels. After completing all levels, the game restarts in "Beastly Mode" with added difficulty. Reaching checkpoints unlocks a key which an be used to start the game at the new checkpoint instead of level 1.
The game features a few new enemies depending on the version, including Mutant Flippers, Demon Heads, Mirrors and UFOs.
Collectible power-ups are the most imminently noticeable addition to the game. Destroying certain enemies spawns a power-up icon that travels up the web; touching the icon gives the player either a special ability that lasts until the end of the level, or other bonuses.
- Particle Laser: More firepower, destroys spikes faster.
- "Zappo 2000": Score bonus.
- AI Droid: A helpful cube-shaped drone that tends to move to the opposite side of the web from the player and fires at any enemies it can find.
- Jump: Allows the player to jump over Flippers or other enemies that have reached the top of the web, while continuing to fire downwards.
- "Outta here!": Instant warp to the next level.
- "YES! YES! YES!": Given when the player collects a power-up while warping to the next level. Makes the first power-up in the next level an AI Droid.
- Warp token: These tokens are kept across levels. Collecting three of them enables the chill-out bonus level (see below).
Triggered by collecting three warp tokens, the bonus levels are a break from the regular gameplay and feature even wilder graphical effects. One of the bonus levels has the player flying through hoops in a tube, while another requires accurate maneuvering to stay within the green zone of a rotating spiral. Completing the level warps the player forward five levels.
Two players can compete head-to-head in this mode. The players are located on opposite sides of the web and try to hit each other. The ships are equipped with a mirror that reflects shots back and is activated whenever the player stops firing. Flippers roam the web, adding to the action.
The Jaguar CD system add-on came with a CD copy of the Tempest 2000 soundtrack. It was produced by Imagitec Design Inc. The musicians were Ian Howe, Alastair Lindsay, Kevin Saville and Julian Hodgson. The Production Director was James Grunke. According to the fine print, "No llamas were mistreated or injured during the making of this compact disc." The individual tracks were:
- Thermal Resolution
- Mind's Eye
- Ease Yourself
- Tracking Depth
- Constructive Demolition
- Future Tense
- Digital Terror
- Hyper Prism
- Glide Control
- Ultra Yak
- 2000 Dub