By: Atari, Inc.
While simple and crude, Combat is a true classic. Shoot or be shot, mano-a-mano, racking up points before the timer run out. You can play against your opponent driving (or flying) tanks, biplanes and jets in many game variations. In the flying modes, you can speed up, slow down, turn and shoot. In the tank games, you can turn, move forward and fire.
All modes can be fun with a friend, but the tank variations are the main event—particularly Tank Pong, where the shots reflect off of barriers, but have limited range. It can become a tense game of cat and mouse, and roles can quickly become reversed. The “boop boop…boop boop…boobooboop” sound of the ricocheting bullets is particularly memorable and there is even a mode where shots have to bank once to be effective.
Versus fighting games certainly offer more nuance and strategy, and matches can be very satisfying between two evenly match opponents, but Combat has simplicity on its side. You can learn all the moves within minutes, and it may be one of the purest two player games ever made.
- Ben Langberg