Tempest 4000 Review

Mar 25, 2022

Arcade games will always hold a special place in my heart. I love going to a Dave and Buster’s to play some of these new arcade games and spend hours on them. When I play this game, I often think to myself, “How cool would it be to have one of these at home?”, and now thanks to the power of technology you can have some of these arcade games on your consoles. Atari is releasing Tempest 4000 on the Nintendo Switch, but should you play this at home or just leave this game to an arcade store? Let’s find out.

Developed by: Jeff Minter & Llamasoft
Published by: Atari
Released: March 22, 2022 (Atari VCS, PC, Playstation, Switch, Xbox)

Tempest 4000 is a space shooter where you control a claw shape ship inside prisms and your objective is to destroy everything and anything that comes your way. This kind of gameplay reminded me a lot of Galaga if Galaga was 3D. The gameplay in Tempest 4000 is fairly simple; you will spend all your time shooting objects, collecting power-ups, and trying to beat your own high score. The shooting felt very responsive and the power-ups were very helpful, but all of this was dragged down by how busy the screen gets with every explosion and every kill. I had a really hard time trying to keep up with everything that was happening on my screen. If you play this game on handheld mode, all I can say to you is, “good luck”.

Arcade Revival

Tempest 4000 comes with two modes Survival and Pure mode and other than the number of lives you start with, these game modes feel very similar to each other. Not only do the modes feel similar but the “levels” that you clear in your playthroughs all feel similar as well. In one of my early playthroughs, I didn’t even know I was advancing levels until I saw that on the bottom left part of my screen. Now a game like this would benefit from having an online scoreboard to challenge your friends or people around the world that may be playing the same game; after all arcade machines all had scoreboards, but Tempest 4000 doesn’t have this feature. For the kind of game Tempest 4000 is, an online scoreboard almost feels essential and I hope that the developers add that in future updates.

Heavy on Quarters, Light on Content

With the number of games that are out right now, I don’t see myself going back to Tempest 4000. This kind of arcade game in my opinion works better at an Arcade store than it does on the Nintendo Switch. The gameplay that’s on here is very good but the lack of content makes me not want to come back to this game. I get that arcade games tend to be light on content, but when a game is priced at $20, I was expecting a little bit more from Tempest 4000. If you are a fan of the old-school arcade games you’ll have fun with this but don’t expect to be blown away by this retro game.

Score: 6.0