(Christopher L. Tumber, 2002)

Yes! It finally happened! Tempest is on the Vectrex and so is Qix! These were some of my favourite classic games from the early 80's and now they are finally available on this underrated vector machine. You can even see that now famous message by Cats from Zero Wing as a little joke or see your Vectrex turned into a Magic 8 ball. Each one has a separate review below. Thanks Chris!


I don't know what Tsunami means but this is a close to as Atari's Tempest has you may ever get on the Vectrex. Tempest was an acclaimed shooter that used Vector graphics in web based levels with enemies invading from the center. Christopher Tumber even included a option to use the Atari 2600 Driving Roller pad (used for the Atari 2600 game Indy 500) to get an original arcade like feel of the 1981 Tempest arcade controls, very cool.

The graphics are sharp enough to look like Tempest complete with different style vector webs but a few things are missing like the zoom in and leave effects after you completed a level and there are no stars in the background either. There are however zooming effects at beginning of each stage which is rather nice but the booming sound effects from the original Tempest game are not here.

Moving on to the sound, well, there sure isn't a lot to talk about here. The only sound effects I noticed were when your ship fired a shot and when it hits the enemy, that's it! There is no noise when you use your Super Zapper.

The controls are where Tsunami really excels because there are three different set ups to best suit you. The Spinner option lets you use the Atari Driver Controller in the second player slot and the Vectrex pad in the one player slot and is the recommend control for the ship's roller action but if you don't have the Driver pad then it's both Joystick and Compass controls similar to Gyruss for the NES.

Tsunami really captures the feel of Tempest, although the sound effects were fairly lacking and there is no colour of course, it's still a fast paced shoot em up with tons of levels and all the hazards like flippers, spikes, and more. Tsunami is definitely worth picking up for Vectrex fans!

For 1 player only
graphics: 6/10
sound: 2/10
gameplay: 7/10


If you haven't figured it out, this is Taito cult hit Qix. In Vix you have to defend the internet by blocking off the Vix virus but beware of the sparks. Vix still has a lot of the basic fundamentals of the game it's trying to be but the limitations of the 20 year old machine just can't handle certain things.

First off the graphics look good enough but with block your ship completes the game blinks and resets to reduce the lines on screen but it gets a little annoying especially if you like to make several little blocks first.

The sound was better then Tsunami but there still isn't a lot here. You have some buzzing background sound and some sound effects when you draw a block or when the screen fades. Nothing special but it still works.

The controls are not a problem here as you have the option to move slow or fast just like the original. Vix was good but at times it was a little too easy plus there is a bug that may give you a super quick victory even though you just drew a block that deleted everything else. Vix is still an awesome and relaxing that will make you think.



For 1 player only
graphics: 4/10
sound: 5/10
gameplay: 7/10

(Ryan Genno) 2008

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