October 1981: Tempest released
Few games bring to mind the true setting of the old-school arcade like Tempest. This well-known, vector graphics shooter was brought to the market 32 years ago this month, and it’s still cited as a very influential game. Tempest was the first game with difficulty selections (novice to expert), the first game to introduce continues, and an early adopter of progressive level design. (The game’s design changed from level to level.)
Playing Tempest was no easy task, and it didn’t attract the largest mainstream following when it was first introduced. The cabinets offered a spinning rotary knob and two buttons (fire and “superzapper,” which cleared enemies in a stage). Those who stuck with the game enjoyed a very singular moment in gaming history, as the game never had any real predecessors. (Sequels, yes; but there weren’t many knockoffs.) Tempest’s arcade run was followed by numerous ports to numerous systems, from the Atari to the PlayStation.
If you’ve played Tempest, what did you think of it? Are there any arcade games you’d like to see brought into modern gaming? Sound off in the comments!