Armor Attack was released by Cinematronics in 1980. Cinematronics is not one of the most well-known arcade companies but they did make some great games in my opinion. I wrote about my favorite game Rip Off previously but their Armor Attack is a close second and one I remember playing back when I was a kid whereas Rip Off I don’t remember coming across at all.
Armor Attack like most of Cinematronics early games is a black and white vector game. I have mentioned vector games before but just to do a brief recap vector displays draw lines point to point on the display monitor, think Asteroids. This allows for a very crisp well-defined and bright graphics but you are limited to graphics that can be drawn with line segments. To get around this Armor Attack has a full screen plastic overlay to add color and the war-torn cityscape over which you do battle. Like Rip Off you can either play solo against the computer or if you can recruit a friend to play co-op the two of you work together to defeat the enemy. It’s a fun game solo but team play is even better in my opinion. There was also a cocktail version and the game was licensed to ROCK-OLA so you may find there are some different style cabinets out there.
In the game you drive a well armed Jeep through the streets of an occupied town and your goal is to destroy as many enemy tanks and helicopters as you can while you avoid being hit yourself or ran over by a tank. Your jeep and the enemy tanks can only move on the roads however the enemy chopper can fly over any obstacle. The buildings stop any bullets so you can use them to shield yourself. It takes two hits to fully destroy a tank. The first shot will only immobilize it but the turret still works and will continue to fire at you until you hit it again or after a few seconds the tank will just explode with no points awarded and a new round will start were the tanks move faster and are more accurate. The game is over when your last tank is destroyed.
The points are awarded as followed:
20pts: for hitting tank body (first hit)
30pts + bonus: for hitting the turret (second hit)
Bonus 0-50 is determined by the number of choppers destroyed
100pts: for hitting a chopper and bonus level is incremented by 10pts
Destroying 5 helicopters earn you an extra jeep and the bonus is reset to 0
I’m a fan of these early Cinematronics games they have great game play and great sound effects. There was a home console port that came out for the Vectrex and it is a pretty decent port,. If you have a Vectrex might I suggest you give it a try. I can’t believe how fast time flew by this year I only got one game review in before I had to prep them for the show. I’ll try and get some more written after my games are unwrapped and back in their place. If you’re in the Tacoma Washington area June 7th-9th stop on by the Northwest pinball and Arcade Show and try out my Armor Attack.