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Description official descriptions

Commonly considered the earliest progenitor of first-person shooters (FPS), Battlezone is a 3D tank game initially released in the arcades, and later converted officially to many systems. Earth has been invaded, and you and your tank lead the defensive effort. You drive around the battlefield from a first-person view, targeting and firing at tanks, planes and UFOs. You have a radar to help you see where the enemies are in direction and distance. Objects can be used as strategic cover. Controls simulate the tracks of a tank realistically, so the direction and speed settings are varied - combining forward right and backward left movements (as you can on keyboard versions) sees you change direction more quickly.

Groups +



Credits (Arcade version)

6 People

Programmed by
Project leader
Electrical engineer
Vector-graphics generator by
Enemy tank models
Erupting volcano code by



Subject User Date
The arcade original John F (0) 2007-08-23 12:03:11


1001 Video Games

Battlezone appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott

Arcade version

Development of the original Battlezone coin-op was a team effort: Morgan Hoff was the project leader; Jed Margolin handled electrical engineering; Ed Rotberg programmed it; Roger Hector modelled all 3D objects as minimally as possible, and Howie Delman's vector-graphics generator was used.

References to the game

Battlezone units appear in the movies: * Tron (1982) * Joysticks (1983) * The Philadelphia Experiment (1984) * Running Scared (1986)


Owen Rubin kept pestering Rotberg to make the volcano on the horizon active; Rotberg brushed him off, challenging Rubin to write the code for the volcano himself if he felt so strongly about it# The next morning, there it was sitting on his desk.


  • Retro Gamer
    • Issue 46 - #20 in the "Top 25 Atari 2600 Games" poll

Information also contributed by Nélio, PCGamer77 and FatherJack.

Related Games

Released 2006 on PSP
Released 2016 on PlayStation 4, 2017 on Windows
Released 2008 on Xbox 360
Released 1998 on Windows
Battlezone 2000
Released 1995 on Lynx
Battlezone: Gold Pack
Released 1999 on Windows
Battlezone: Gold Edition
Released 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Battlezone: Combat Commander
Released 2018 on Windows
Battlezone 98 Redux
Released 2016 on Windows, 2017 on Macintosh

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 360


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

Windows, Xbox 360 added by Alaka. Atari 8-bit added by Kabushi. ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Arcade added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Atari ST, Apple II, VIC-20, Atari 2600 added by Servo. Commodore 64 added by wanax.

Additional contributors: Alaka, Martin Smith, Pseudo_Intellectual, Nélio, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack, ZeTomes, Abhishek Kumar.

Last modified February 27th, 2023.