Battlezone is an arcade game from Atari released in November 1980. It displays a wireframe view (using vector graphics rather than raster graphics) on a horizontal black and white (with green and red sectioned color overlay) vector monitor. Due to its novel gameplay and look, this game was very popular for many years.
Gameplay is on a plain with a mountainous horizon featuring a memorable erupting volcano, distant crescent moon, and various geometric solids (in vector outline) like pyramids and blocks. The player views the screen,
Battlezone - Atari 2600
which includes an overhead radar view to find and destroy the rather slow tanks, or the faster moving supertanks. Saucer-shaped UFOs and guided missiles occasionally appear for a bonus opportunity. The saucers differ from the tanks in that they do not fire upon the player, and do not appear on radar. The player can hide behind the solids or maneuver in rapid turns once fired on to buy time with which to fire himself. Common play in the US could run from 25 cents to a dollar per game, depending on machine setting. The typical setting is for 25 cent play, with three tanks.
A standard enemy tank is worth 1,000 points, a supertank 3,000 points, and the flying saucer 5,000 points. The guided missile is worth 2,000 points when destroyed. Each of these targets can be destroyed with a single shot from the player's tank. An extra life is awarded when the player's score reaches 15,000 points, and a further tank is then awarded at 100,000 points. No additional tanks are awarded until the score counter rolls over at ten million, and additional bonus tanks are again awarded at indicated scores of 15,000 and 100,000. The game only includes one hostile enemy on the game board at all times; the player never has to battle two enemy tanks at once, or a tank and guided missile. The UFO can appear on the screen at the same time as an enemy tank, and it can occasionally be destroyed by enemy fire.
The geometric solid obstacles are indestructible, and can block the movement of a player's tank. However, they are also useful as shields as they also block enemy fire as well.
There was a bug in some machines which caused very high phony scores into the seven digits to be posted (after a player would enter his initials). Good players could actually reach this level after an hour or two of play.
The music heard in the high score initials prompt is from Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.
Find digital download of this game on
This version of Battlezone was designed for Atari 2600, which was commercially very successful video game console of second generation produced by Atari from 1977 to 1992. It was the first console that used removable memory modules with games. At the time of its greatest fame, more than 30 million units of this console were sold for about $ 200 a piece. To date, the game library for this console contains nearly 1,000 original games. More information about the
Atari 2600 can be found here.
Recommended Game Controllers:
You can control this game easily by using the keyboard of your PC (see the table next to the game). However, for maximum gaming enjoyment, we strongly recommend using a USB joystick that you simply plug into the USB port of your computer. If you do not have a joystick, buy a suitable USB controller on Amazon or AliExpress or in some of your favorite online stores.
Available online emulators:
5 different online emulators are available for Battlezone. These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Battlezone are summarized in the following table:
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