Namco's 1981 Tank Battalion
Namco's 1991 Tank Force

The age old concept of capture the flag. Controlling your tank through a maze you have to defend your headquarters from the advancing enemy tanks. The walls of the maze can be destroyed by any of the tanks which provides a bit of strategy and variety to the mazes.

Missing Ingredient

Tank Battalion and Tank Force are not revolutionary games. Instead they are more of an evolution of a tried-and-true theme. While neither game may capture your interest for a significant length of time they are both well-crafted games that provide a quick and fun diversion.

Released in 1981, Tank Battalion offers simple mechanics, precise control, and adequate graphics. 10 years later Namco revisited this theme with updated graphics, a better story, some interesting power-ups, and the option for two player simultaneous play. The new enhancements, especially the interesting and varied power-up elements, add a significant amount of depth and interest to the game. One of my favorites is the "air attack" power-up. Once acquired the entire playfield is dwarfed by the huge bomber that quickly flies overhead and destroys any enemy tanks remaining on the screen. Very satisfying!

If you are unfamiliar with either of these titles I'd recommend playing them in chronological order. While Tank Battalion is a solid, well-crafted title you'll likely find little incentive to play it once you've experienced the deluxe version of Tank Force.


Thanks to Jeffrey Carl at ServInt for providing the space for CinemArcade


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