Tempest is a tube shooter vector game – a game which looks three-dimensional, but the perspective doesn’t change. The player controls a crescent or claw-shaped ship which moves around the near side of a geometric shape which stretches into the distance, shooting at approaching enemies, some of which trail spikes behind them. At the end of each level the ship flies past the geometric shape it was on during that level, and the player must move the ship to avoid any spikes left behind. The game is controlled by a spinner, a fire button and a limited use “superzapper” button which destroys all enemies on the screen.
Tempest was designed by Dave Theurer, who said it was based on a dream he had about monsters crawling out of a hole in the ground. It was released by Atari in 1981.