Great to find a top notch arcade shoot-'em'down game amidst the hordes of arcade-adventures now appearing. The "Copyright Atari" message rightly confirms the coin-op pedigree of Tempest.
The simplicity of controls: left and right around the sections of various three dimensional frames and super-fast auto-repeat fire, mean that all you have to do is sit back and blast away. Well, not quite all.
Initially only armed with three ships, you can't afford a break in concentration which will let the incoming attackers build up dangerous concentrations or catch you unawares with some return fire.
Tempest rapidly whisks you through a succession of screens, each with a differently angled and segmented three dimensional polygon. The attackers come out at you from the centre of a hexagon or from the remote edge of a rectangular bowling alley shape. Some split off into less predictable movement patterns when hit.
In the meantime you are scanning the targets, breaking up groupings which look menacing, trying to choose the shortest way around the segments of a shape to a trouble-spot. There's only a limited time on some screens and if you clear up there are bonus ships to be won.
All this is going on amidst a barrage of some of the best sound effects heard in a BBC game. I think the word will get around about Tempest and there will be some high scores to go after in the coming months.