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Description official descriptions

99 Hyperspatial Wireways have long been crucial to man's ability to travel quickly through space. Thus, when aliens invade them, it becomes necessary to fly into and clear them.

Tempest is a shooter using wire-frame graphics. Each Wireway is taken on in turn, and has a network of lines guiding the movement paths of both yourself and the aliens. You remain on the outside and keep shooting as the aliens move towards you. Any that reach the outside are fatal to touch, thus limiting your range of movement greatly if 2 or more achieve this. Some aliens move sideways - in dealing with these, plan ahead allowing for the time your shots to take to travel.

You have a Super Zapper, which can be used once on each level to wipe out all aliens currently active, but this scores no points.

Groups +


Credits (Arcade version)

Programmed by



1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Tempest appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cancelled ports

Tempest was being ported to both the Atari 2600 and 5200 systems, but both were eventually cancelled, even after being featured in a 5200 catalogue with a release date set for the 1983 autumn. Prototypes have surfaced and been leaked onto the internet, albeit in an unfinished state.


Tempest's initial working title and format was as First Person Space Invaders. Following a cool reception at an internal meeting, its display was revised to the cylindrical tunnel (after a nightmare designer Dave Theurer recounted of monsters climbing up out of a pit), but there was one further change needed before the game could hit prime time: early versions of the game kept the player's gun's position constant and rotated the tunnel around it, using a dial. In testing, this was found to make many players nauseated and the tunnel's orientation was fixed, the gun now moving around its perimeter.

References to the game

In the music video Subdivisions, by Rush, a boy is seen playing the coin-op version of Tempest. Right beside the machine there's a Pac-Man one.


  • Happy Computer
    • 1986 - Runner-up as Best Action Game of the Year

Information also contributed by chirinea, Pseudo_Intellectual and FatherJack

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 23846


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Martin Smith.

Windows, Xbox 360 added by Alaka. Browser, Electron added by Kabushi. Arcade added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Antstream added by lights out party. BBC Micro added by formercontrib.

Additional contributors: Игги Друге, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Last modified February 22nd, 2023.