Rip Off by Cinematronics

Rip Off by Cinematronics

Rip Off was released in 1980 by Cinematronics. Cinematronics is probably not the most well-known game producing company but they did have a few hits. The most popular probably being Dragons Lair or Star Castle and Their Space Wars was the first arcade game to utilize a black and white vector display.

Like most of their early titles Rip Off is a black and white vector game. You can play it solo or as a 2 player co-op game. Co-op is where this game really shines so if you do get the chance to play make sure you bring a friend. The game can by pretty tough playing by yourself and by adding a second player it seems to balance it out a bit more by allow one tank to continue to defend the fuel cells while the other ship is respawning. The controls for this game four buttons and they are rotate left, rotate right, forward and fire.

Your mission is to protect your fuel cells the Space Pirates that are trying to rip them off. The pirate’s tanks are equipped with short range lasers while your tank has a long range cannon. You can either shoot the invading tanks or destroy them by crashing into them. There is no penalty to you for destroying enemy this way except for the brief period of time it takes for your tank to respawn. When playing a two-player game, your shoots do not hurt the other player, although you will both be destroyed if your tanks collide. There are six rounds to each level and you must fight a different type of ship each round. If a ship steals a fuel cell then you must fight the same enemy again but if you destroy all six enemies you go to the next level were they are a little faster but worth more points. You game is over when the last fuel cell has been “ripped off”.

Unfortunately you cannot see the details of the tanks in the video. Considering they could only use line segments they look good and you can even see the tracks spin when the tanks are moving.

Rip off is my favorite game by Cinematronics and luckily there’s a couple different ways to play it if you don’t have access to the actual cabinet. It plays pretty well in MAME so if you have a MAME setup I’d say give it a try. It was also released for the Vectrex and it is a pretty good port with different variations of game play.


I'm a kid of the 70's and 80's. Grew up on Saturday morning cartoons, Atari and Music Videos. My current hobby is repairing arcade games, mostly from the 70's and trying to find space to put them.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. I always just kinda assumed this was a Vectrex original; thanks for sharing!

  2. There was a few Cinematronincs games ported over to the Vectrex and one arcade game that was based on a Vectrex game. That was Cosmic Chasm, I’d love to find that arcade game but is fairly rare

  3. Awesome post, Blinddog, as always! I’ve not had the pleasure of playing this title in the arcades of my youth but I sure wish I had. I think what I liked most from the video is the increasing ‘Hum’ of the machine as the Pirates take each piece away, I wasn’t playing it and it made me nervous! Keep the posts coming, friend! :)

  4. Your vids makes me feel like I’m back at the arcade, catching the action over a player’s shoulder while I contemplate my own session with the game (or marvel at some mastery displayed before my widened eyes).

  5. I was very happy to get to play Ripoff last weekend as blinddog’s co-pilot. It is an amazingly underrated game, probably one of the best co-ops I have played from that era and with its lengthy gameplay, it is very much a value.

  6. OMG i remember this game now!
    Seeing those ships come in and ” ripoff” those triangles made me have a total flashback.
    I don’t recall where I played RIPOFF but I do recall playing it over and over.
    Love the original vector graphics videogames due to inherent, organic but unintentional characteristics like tube trailing and uneven brightness.
    When you play a game like RIPOFF on a bright, B&W CRT the game looks “alive”!

  7. Also, according to Wiki… Rip-Off was cloned as Bacterion!, published in 1984 for the Atari 8-bit family.[2] As with the original game, it allows two-player cooperative play.

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