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Tempest Tubes Tempest Tubes - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Tempest Tubes - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


You control a yellow crab-shaped shooter that travels along the outside rim of a three-dimensional tunnel, shooting enemies down the alleys of the tunnel while avoiding any coming down the alleys. The tunnel takes on many different forms, and the shooter has a special "superzapper" that enables it to kill all enemies present in the tunnel.

Tempest Tubes was produced by Atari in 1981.

Atari released 137 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1972. Atari was based in United States.

Other machines made by Atari during the time period Tempest Tubes was produced include: Battlezone, Centipede, Turtleroids, Missile Command, Asteroids Deluxe, Triangle, Tempest, Maze Invaders, Neutron Star, and Fast Freddie


Name Tempest Tubes
Developer Atari (United States)
Year 1981
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 10066
Class Hack/ROM Swap
Genre Shooter
  • Orientation: Vertical
  • Type: Vector
  • Color: Color
Conversion Class Atari Color Vector
# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 2
Game Play Alternating
Control Panel Layout Single Player
  • Rotary: Optical
  • Buttons: 2 - FireSuperzap
Sound Unamplified Mono (requires one-channel amp)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard

Game Introduction

You are given a vanishing-point perspective from the top, looking down into a geometric shape. The shapes vary from a line, to a triangle, to a circle, to more complex shapes. Enemies enter from the bottom and work their way up towards the top. Collision with an enemy or an enemy's shot is fatal. A level is cleared when all the enemies have been destroyed, or the only enemies left are the red shooters that have reached the top of the tunnel. When proceeding to the next level, shoot and destroy, or avoid, the green spikes that are left over, as a collision with them is fatal.

The superzapper will destroy all the enemies on screen the first time it is used. The second time has a much more limited effect. The superzapper will not work a third time. However, the superzapper recharges itself at the start of each new level. The final levels of the game are the green, which begin at level 81, and repeat thereafter with no increase in difficulty.

Tempest Tubes KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 4.88 (1 vote)

Fun Factor: 5.00

Overall Like 5.00
Fun (Social) 5.00
Fun (Solo) 5.00
Collector Desire 5.00

Technical Rating: 4.75

Gameplay 5.00
Graphics 5.00
Originality 5.00
Sound/Music 4.00

Personal Impressions and Technical Impressions each account for half of the total score. Within the Personal Impressions category, Like carries a little more weight than the other factors.

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Cheats, Tricks, Bugs, and Easter Eggs

TRICK: On a level that is not a fully enclosed shape, you can often sit at one of the far ends, and when an approaching enemy is right next to you, hold down your fire button, and they will be destroyed.

TRICK: Get a score in the form of XXYYZZ, where XX > 16, 29 < YY < 60, and ZZ is a code. Some codes are:

01 - Test mode. 06, 11, 12 - 40 free games. 46 - Start at any level you like (up to level 81). In the test mode, you can zero the high score table and examine the game parameters, but not modify them.

BUG: Scores beyond 999999 are not possible, as the score will roll-over to 000000.

More pictures


Hack/ROM Swap of Tempest

This hack adds new shaped levels to the game, but the title screen remains unchanged.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Tempest Tubes Census

There are 14,898 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,529 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 165,153 machines (6,928 unique titles).

Uncommon - There are 15 known instances of this machine owned by Tempest Tubes collectors who are active members. Of these, 6 of them are original dedicated machines. 3 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 6 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There is one active VAPS member with a Tempest Tubes machine for sale.

Wanted - There is one active VAPS member currently looking for Tempest Tubes.

This game ranks a 9 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 2 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census want list records.

Rarity and Popularity independently are not necessarily indications of value. [More Information]

eBay Listings

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