Every time I watch Twister, Jan de Bont’s 1996 film about a ragtag group of storm chasers trying to figure out how to better predict tornadoes, I think to myself: “Boy, do I wanna do that.”
Now, thanks to Twisted, a Roblox game in development from two storm superfans, I can do just that. And if you, like me, watch Twister at least once a year and find yourself longing to don a Hanes tank top and cargo pants that get progressively more filthy during a day of 200 mile-per-hour winds swirling around in a murder vortex and slinging mud at you, maybe you should check out Twisted, too.
“Throughout the rolling hills and prairies of the fictional state of Keysota, scientists and thrill seekers alike set out on the roads in chase of severe weather. Some will observe from a safe distance, while others will risk it all to get the perfect shot of a violent tornado from close range,” reads Twisted’s description on the official Roblox website.
Tornado chasing the video game
Players start by selecting a “blue blip” on the map of Keysota, which are areas of interest that could spawn a tornado. They then drop into the game, select a car for their storm-chasing efforts, and jump in the driver’s seat. From there, they’ll have to use the instruments available to them (which are based on actual meteorological tools like doppler radar and hodgraphs) to track down a twister and drive to intercept it.
The game, built by Willzuh and Siryzm in Roblox, is only in beta right now, but it’s got an active community of fans—as well as the attention of Reed Timmer, storm chasing’s resident bad boy. Timmer saw a screenshot from Twisted featuring side-by-side tornadoes and tweeted, “I may have to start playing video games today.” Twisted even includes Timmer’s iconic Dominator vehicle (a souped-up, armored car he’s been iterating on since 2009) as a vehicle option, so it’s clear the creators are fans of the self-proclaimed “extreme meteorologist.”
Twisted 1.20 dropped on July 25 with a massive update that includes a revamp of its impressively large map, object reactions to wind that increase in violence based on their vicinity to a tornado (like trees bending and street lights swaying), dynamic tornadoes that are more varied in shape and movement, and a smaller, “lite” version for those whose devices that can’t handle the larger game. Twisted’s extensive wind, damage, and debris systems make for a pretty intense game, which is why the game’s official page warns that the full-fat version “will NOT run well on low end devices.”
Kotaku reached out to Twisted’s devs to learn more about their process and what to expect for its future, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
As a Twister superfan and wannabe storm chaser, I am kicking myself that I don’t have a rig that can handle this beautiful behemoth. Guess I’ll be watching all the future Twisted streams and loudly shouting “Going green. Greenage!” alone in my apartment.