Gameplay wise, as with all the most addictive games, everything is very simple. Your screen consists of a shape of some sort, be it a triangle, square or four leaf clover, with your ship a sort of right angle shaped thing moving around the edge of said shape. Other shapes then come towards you and try to shoot you. Sounds simple and it is. What makes the game so good is how addictive it becomes.
To start off the levels are very easy, and it takes a while for the challenge to kick in but when it does you're hooked, finding yourself determined to make the next shaded blue shape that looms off into the distance. To help you out you are presented with a small amount of power ups. There is a jump which lets you jump from one bit of the shape to another, the usual power up laser and the more intriguing A.I droid that hovers behind you shooting just about everything. The emphasis is very much upon fast paced high score raising, and once you reach level ten and beyond the action becomes frantic as you desperately try to stay alive.
Complimenting the ‘buzzing’ game play is as the manual states a ‘pure CD- quality techno-rave soundtrack’, which seems to consist of one ever changing song (although the OST lists about 12). But to be fare the music does give exactly the right feel to the game and without it being there much of the draw of Tempest 2000 would diminish. Tempest 2000 will last for years and years and years, it's easily as addictive as Tetris and you will always be driven to beat your last high score or reach the next bent banana shaped monster that comes lumbering towards you, just to see what bonus points they might contain. To top it all there is a two player mode which is as inspired as the rest of the game.
This is a true gem of a game and deserves to be played by one and all. The closest to it you can get away from the Jaguar is one of the inferior ports on PC or Saturn or probably N2O on The Playstation. But even this isn't up to the genius of Tempest 2000 on the much maligned Jaguar.