by Mark Nobes, chief editor

Released in 1980 by Atari, Battlezone was a tank battle game that featured 3D wireframe (vector) graphics, rather than raster graphics which were pretty much the norm in 1980. The other memorable game to use vector graphics from this era was, of course, Asteroids, although not in 3D. Such graphics were novel and futuristic in the early 80's, which made Battlezone very popular.

Starting out in the arcades, the game was eventually ported to home computers such as the Apple II, Atari 8-bits and ST, C64 and ZX Spectrum.

Points available in the arcade version of Battlezone were as follows; A standard enemy tank is worth 1,000 points when destroyed; a supertank is worth 3,000 points; and the flying saucer is worth 5,000 points. The guided missile is worth 2,000 points when destroyed. The game featured a periscope viewfinder to view the game with, which was very novel.

Battlezone definitely goes down as an eighties classic game, and I have fond memories of playing it at the arcades at the seaside while on holiday. Unfortunately, the player in the video of the arcade version (above) doesn't appear to be very good at playing the game, but you will, at least, get an idea of how the game looked. Come to think of it, I don't think I was all that good at it either!

Atari 2600 Battlezone Game
The Atari 2600 console version featured coloured raster graphics with a view from behind the tank, rather than from inside it. These graphics looked pretty awesome at the time.
Battlezone - Atari 2600 cartridge