You Can Be An Extreme Storm Chaser In This Game

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.

Twisted 1.20 Thumbnail

“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.

GameStop’s New Billionaire Boss Calls For ‘Extreme Frugality’

After years of pulling the strings from behind the scenes, GameStop chairman and billionaire Chewy founder Ryan Cohen appointed himself CEO of the ailing video game store on Thursday. His first email to staff, obtained by Kotaku, called for “extreme frugality” and said “time wasters” would not be tolerated as the meme stock company fights to survive.

“It is not sustainable for GameStop to operate a money losing business,” Cohen, who first joined the board of directors back in 2021, told corporate employees. Despite effectively being in charge of the retailer for a couple years now, engineering short-lived pushes into better online deliveries, NFTs, and selling things like gamer chairs and TVs, GameStop has remained mostly unprofitable during his reign.

A recent exodus among the c-suite, including Cohen’s firing of his own hand-picked CEO, Matt Furlong earlier this year, has left the company seemingly more adrift than ever. GameStop initiated several waves of layoffs in 2022, and has continued to decimate staffing levels at individual stores, even though its meme stock windfall means it still has roughly $1 billion in cash reserves.

Cohen’s first email to employees after making himself boss struck a grim and threatening tone. “Every expense at the company must be scrutinized under a microscope and all waste eliminated,” he wrote. “The company has no use for delegators and money wasters. I expect everyone to treat company money like their own and lead by example.”

It’s not clear what’s left to cut at the company, however. The core of GameStop’s troubles remains an ongoing shift from physical game sales to digital downloads. A massive Xbox leak earlier this month suggested Microsoft might soon be phasing out disc drives for its own consoles altogether. Funko Pop! and other collectible merchandise has taken over more and more of the chain’s retail shelves, but has so far been unable to make up for the losses from fewer sales of used games.

Here’s Cohen’s full email to GameStop employees:

I will be straight to the point.

It is not sustainable for GameStop to operate a money losing business. The mission is to operate hyper efficiently and profitably. Our expense structure must allow us to endure any adverse scenario. Whether it’s a difficult economy or revenue deceleration from shrinking software, we must be profitable. Our job is to make sure GameStop is here for decades to come. Extreme frugality is required. Every expense at the company must be scrutinized under a microscope and all waste eliminated. The company has no use for delegators and money wasters. I expect everyone to treat company money like their own and lead by example.

Prospering in retail means survival. If we survive, we stay in the game. Survival is avoiding the deadly sins that often lead retailers to self-destruct. This is usually a result of the following – buying bad inventory, using leverage, and running expenses too high. By avoiding these self-inflicted mistakes and focusing on the basics, GameStop can be here for a long time.

I expect everyone to roll up their sleeves and work hard. I’m not getting paid, so I’m either going down with the ship or turning the company around. I much prefer the latter.

It won’t be easy. Best of luck to us all.


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