Saturday, 13 October 2007

Typhoon 2001

Going back ten or so years ago, I'd often pop over to see one of my mates on a weekend. His girlfriend and mine would sit and chat whilst we drank beers and played on the Atari Jaguar.

There were only a handful of good games available for the Jaguar. Alien vs Predator was one, Rayman was another. But the best of the best was Jeff Minter's Tempest 2000 (an update of Dave Theurers's classic Tempest). This was the most intense gaming experience I'd ever played. The visuals were psychedelic, the soundtrack was hypnotic, the action was fast and unrelenting. I know it sounds cliched but it was more an experience than a game.

Tempest 2000 expanded the original game by updating the graphics and sound, and adding extra features such as weapon upgrades, an AI droid and unlockable bonus rounds. Somehow it managed to add all this whilst still keeping what made the original Tempest so good in the first place.

Tempest 2000

There have been a couple of attempts at bringing the game to other systems. The PlayStation got Tempest X3 which was close, but didn't quite work as the game mechanics were changed around too much. The PC got a straight forward (if uglier) port of the Jaguar game (follow the link for the full history of the game).

There have also been a few attempts to create a follow up, both official (Tempest 3000 (Nuon) and Space Giraffe (XBox 360)) and unofficial (Tsunami 2010) but nothing quite captures the feel of the original Jaguar game.

Typhoon 2001

Until now. Typhoon 2001 is a freeware remake of Tempest 2000 which attempts to update the visuals and game play whilst retaining the qualities that made the original so damn good. The game has been in development for over a year and has evolved into a game that may be even better than the original. The game uses the original soundtrack, a mix of new and old sound effects, massively updated graphics (compare the screenshots) and now looks astounding.

Static screen shots really don't do this game justice.

Rather than trying to describe the indescribable, why not head on over to the Typhoon 2001 web site and try it for yourself. The game is available for both Windows and Linux, and requires a 500MHz processor and 3D accelerated graphics.

Right, I'm off for another go. See you later.

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