Armor Attack

Armour attack

Developer GCE
Publishers GCE
Milton Bradley
Release date 1982
Genres Maze
Multi-directional shooter
Modes Single player
1-2 players simultaneous
Media Cartridge
ROM file

Gameplay Edit

The player(s) controls a jeep(s) in a warzone. Waves of tanks and helicopters approach to annihilate the player. Each tank takes one hit to immobilize and another to disable its firing capabilities. As waves are defeated, the tanks will increase in both number and speed. Between waves of tanks, helicopters will fly over and strafe in an attempt to destroy the player's jeep. The helicopters have the ability to both fly over structures and leave the player's firing range.

Controls Edit

Main Menu Edit

  • Select number of players-button 1
  • Select visible or invisible walls/select controls-button 2
  • Begin game-button 4

In-game Edit

  • Rotate clockwise/counter-clockwise-right or left on joystick/D-pad
  • Rotate counter-clockwise-button 1
  • Rotate clockwise-button 2
  • Thrust-button 3
  • Fire-button 4

Scoring Edit

  • First hit on tank-200 points
  • Second hit on tank-300 points + bonus
  • Destroy helicopter-1000 points
  • A bonus of 100 points are awarded for each helicopter up to 5 helicopter. The bonus will then return to 100 and grow again until the next 5.

Trivia Edit

  • Armor Attack was ported to the Vectrex in 1982; however, the original Cinematronics arcade game was released in 1980.
  • Armor Attack is one of the 12 original games released worldwide including the USA, Europe and Japan. This was also one of the very few of the original GCE-released games that supported 1-2 players simultaneous play (which others included Rip Off and Space Wars).
  • A strategy was discovered in Vector Wars IV that the game could be marathoned by using a hiding spot to avoid the tanks and destroying only the helicopters.
  • There have also been ports of Armor Attack for the PC, PSP, LCD handheld games, and even a homebrew sequel for the Atari 7800.


  • Click on the tabber below for a review. reviewEdit

As an employee of Cinematronics Armor Attack was Tim Skelly's last game as inhouse programmer. Produced in 1980, Armor Attack was heralded by many as the most complicated game Cinematronics had ever manufactured (Ozedmir 1993) Using the Kettron Vector Monitor, Armor Attack presents the player with a familiar birds eye view of a war torn district. The player controls a small jeep which he/she manoeuvres around the playfield to defend the fading city.

Opposition comes in the form of enemy tanks which will stop at nothing to see your jeep torn to shreds. A helicopter flies overhead firing weapons directly at the jeep and without fast tactics the jeep will be no longer. The helicopter is a good effect and surprises the player as it flashes on and off the screen. Once a single shot is fired at one of the opposing tanks this takes out it's mobility and the tank will be left to aim it's surviving turret at the lone jeep. However there is a two-player mode and 2 tanks can gang up together on opposing forces for double the carnage. One more deadly shot and the enemy tanks fade away.

At around the time Armor Attack was being produced by Cinematronics, in 1980, Atari were also developing a tank game. At the time Skelly and colleagues were worried that their vision of the first real tank game had been stolen by the opposition and they queried whether two similar tank games could survive in the market place and grab consumers demand at the same time. To Skelly's relief the Atari game turned out to be Battlezone which was vastly different to the top-down specifics of Skelly's game design. (Skelly 1995)

It is a little known fact that the intro to Armor Attack contains Morse code which beeps out 'dont register'. As the story goes Skelly was pissed off about the male army drafting policy adopted by the American government at around the time of the games release and aired his frustrations by including the Morse code on the title screen of Armor Attack.

Armor Attack gets rather repetitive after a while. Good for a quick duel.

Score 6/10

Review written by Daniel Foot

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