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T-MEK is a two-player, sit-down, virtual reality fighting arcade game developed by Atari Games and published by Time Warner Interactive in 1994. Each player can choose their MEK (a hovering tank with special weapons and abilities). One player can play against 6 AI players and the occasional boss, or two players can play against each other and 4 AI players. There is a special tournament mode where two players can go one on one. Up to three T-MEK cabinets can be linked for six-player competitions. T-MEK was later ported to MS-DOS and the Sega 32X; rather than linking multiple systems together, the home versions featured split-screen multiplayer for two players.
T-MEK featured surround sound, which Time Warner Interactive advertised as "CAGE Audio". Each player's station had four speakers; two in front and two behind the player, and a subwoofer mounted directly below the seat. T-MEK has no background music soundtrack, which was a departure for "deluxe" arcade games in the coming-of-age era of digitally sampled audio, and instead relied upon the sound to help aid the player in finding enemies.
- Hardware: Atari GT-system (also used in Primal Rage)
- CPU: Motorola 68000 series.
- Joysticks: Robust construct analog, one trigger and one thumb button per stick, two sticks per seat.
- Monitors: Dual 25" Wells-Gardner K7000 standard-resolution.
- Power supply: Standard PC AT.
- Code: Written in C.
In early 1995 Time Warner Interactive released an updated version of T-MEK called T-MEK Version 5.1: The Warlords. In addition to the ability to play as a boss MEK (done by entering that boss's name as the player name), this update added a "beginner" difficulty mode, instructional screens on how to play the game, new combos moves, and some secret codes.
GamePro gave the arcade version a perfect score, citing easy to learn controls, the excitement added by the surround sound and "rumble seat", and the detailed visuals. They commented that "While T-MEK's graphics are not groundbreaking, they sizzle with depth and realism."
The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly scored the 32X version a 6.125 out of 10, commenting that the arcade game was great fun but that its excitement and intensity is lost in the translation to home console. Most of them were also critical of the port's technical aspects, with one going so far as to say that an equally good or even better port could have been done on the Genesis. Air Hendrix of GamePro had a similar assessment. He said the slowdown and cramped split-screen in the two-player mode ruin the multiplayer experience, which he felt was the main draw of the arcade version, and that "With awful pixelation and weak detail, the graphics don't even pretend to be 32-bit."
- "T-MEK/Warlord Update by TWI". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (67): 60. February 1995.
- "ProReview: T-MEK". GamePro. IDG (64): 38. November 1994.
- "Review Crew: T-MEK". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (76): 44. November 1995.
- "ProReview: T-MEK". GamePro. No. 89. IDG. February 1996. p. 66.