Battle Zone, Atari 2600

The Atari 2600 conversion of tank battle game Battle Zone (aka Battlezone) is considered to be a decent port of the classic 1980 arcade game, but I’m not entirely convinced…

Retro Gamer readers voted it into their top 25 Atari 2600 games of all-time [issue 46, page 26], but I don’t think it quite deserves that honour. Yes, it does contain most of the basic gameplay elements of the arcade game, BUT… it’s missing the fact that you could hide behind scenery and use it as cover*, which I think removes one of the most important aspects of the original game. Also: graphically, it doesn’t quite have the same appeal as the green polygonal vector graphics of the original, so in my mind it’s only part way there.

Since there’s no way of hiding from enemy shells in this version that only leaves constantly moving around as a defence, which means that it’s just a matter of time before you get hit, which – to me – greatly reduces the game’s appeal.

Battle Zone on the Atari 2600 was written by Michael Feinstein and first published by Atari, Inc. in 1983.

* = The Moby Games website says that “Objects can be used as strategic cover” in this version, but that’s simply not true. You can’t. There are no objects to hide behind. Facts matter…

More: Battlezone on Wikipedia

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