Something went wrong. Try again later


    Game » consists of 4 releases. Released October 1981

    Tempest is a rotation-based shooter with vector graphics, first appearing in arcades in 1981. It popularized the subgenre of “tube shooters” and also pioneered the use of vectors in game graphics.

    Short summary describing this game.

    Tempest last edited by bobafettjm on 04/28/22 10:47AM View full history


    Tempest, originally designed and programmed by David Theurer, is one of the earliest 3D arcade shooters and also one of the first arcade releases to use a vector graphics monitor. The unique style of Tempest has since evolved on the PC and newer consoles in the form of Jeff Minter's modernized versions.


    In Tempest, the player controls a ship that moves around the top edge of a tube or a spider web -like playfield, the shape of which varies based on the level. The web is divided into lanes, which the enemies start climbing from the bottom. The player moves his ship around with a rotary controller and fires down into the web to keep the enemies from reaching the top while dodging incoming fire. A superzapper can be used to destroy all enemies on the web once per level. When all enemies in the level have either been destroyed or have reached the top of the web, the player zooms down the web and warps to the next level.


    • Flippers flip around from lane to lane and fire bullets towards the player. If they reach the top, they will try to grab the player's ship and drag it down to the bottom, costing a life.
    • Tankers are purple squares that split into two other enemies when shot.
    • Spikers are green blobs that climb up and down a lane, leaving a spike that kills the player if he runs into it when warping to the next level. Spikes can be shot down with sustained fire.
    • Fuseballs are fast-moving sparks.
    • Pulsars electrify lanes at regular intervals, killing the player on contacting the lane.


    • An Atari 2600 and 5200 port were being worked on but were ultimately canceled.
    • The game is regarded as being the first game to include a selectable difficulty level.
    • Sold approximately 20,000 units before its release.
    • The was meant to be a 3D remake of Space Invaders.
    • There are two sequels, Tempest 2000 and Tempest 3000.

    This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

    Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

    Comment and Save

    Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.