Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
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Based on Atari's own groundbreaking vector graphics arcade game, the abandoned Atari VCS port of Tempest tries to bring the coin-op experience home. Controlling a yellow, claw-like Zapper along the edge of a geometrical tube, players blow away advancing spikes and bow-tie shaped enemies who slide down the sides of the tube to reach you. The basics of the game — its colorful graphics and mind-boggling speed — are there in this (obviously unfinished) prototype, but what isn't there is any kind of finesse to the graphics. The surviving prototype of Atari VCS Tempest exhibits the kind of decidedly low-resolution graphics that give their home version of Pac-Man a bad name — they're big, they're clunky, and they were almost certainly next on the designers' "to-do" list of things to finish before the game was ready for market. If the game had been released in this form, it likely would've caused a bad buzz for Atari, which was just recovering from the Pac-Man debacle with a string of better-than-average titles like Ms. Pac-Man, Pole Position, and Kangaroo. An Atari 5200 version of Tempest was also developed, and it too only exists as an unreleased prototype. ~ Earl Green, All Game Guide