Robot Tank

Graphics: 5
Sound: 5
Control: 5
Depth: 4
Overall: 5

Robot Tank

By: Allan Miller
Published By: Activision
Released: 1983

Robot Tank is a Battlezone clone and its existence at first glance seems unnecessary. While the game has the prerequisite Activision improvements and polish, Atari's Battlezone is a better simulation of 3D combat and is pretty great in its own right. But if you can get over the fact that you fight only one tank at a time and that the enemy won't fire unless they are in your line of sight (not the other way around), you'll find one of the most exciting "kill or be killed" games on the Atari 2600.

The first person graphics are impressive and include various weather effects for night, rain, ice, and fog, as well as a nice bobbing effect as you drive your tank. Borrowing from author's previous game Starmaster, there are multiple qualifying scores for Activision patches, you can take out enemy fire with your own, and you take damage from indirect hits making it harder to control your vehicle.

Taking out a tank or two in nice daytime weather is pretty easy at first, but gets tricky as conditions worsen and the enemy continues to get deadlier as time passes. Do you play defensively waiting for better weather, or risk attacking using only your radar? The game quickly gets frantic and achieving a high score is just at that sweet spot of "difficult, but not impossible".

- Ben Langberg


How To Join Activision's Tank Corps

For service beyond the call of duty, you are eligible to join Activision's Tank Corps. If you destroy at least 48 enemy Robot Tanks (4 squadrons), then you've earned the Medal of Merit patch. Succeed in destroying 60 enemy Robot Tanks (5 squadrons), and you proudly deserve the Cross of Excellence patch. Distinguish yourself by destroying 72 enemy Robot Tanks (6 squadrons), and your meritorious achievement decorates you with the Star of Honor patch.

Please send us a picture of your tour-de-force (TV screen), and we'll issue you the appropriate Tank Corps patch, along with our salute and congratulations.

Be sure to write "ROBOT TANK" and the number of enemy Robot Tanks you destroyed on the bottom left-handed corner of the envelop.