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aka: 01 Combat, Combate, Front Line, Tank-Plus

Description official descriptions

Combat is a two-player game where the players attempt to shoot each other's tanks or planes. Hitting the enemy vehicle pushes it back and gives the player one point. The game contains 27 levels, each of which has different rules and playing field layout. On the tank levels, the players have a selection of two different mazes or no walls at all, while on the plane levels, the players can choose to play with clouds that obscure part of the screen. The Atari 2600 difficulty settings can be used to change the range of a player's missiles, as well as the speed of one's airplanes in levels 15-27. All games have a time limit of 136 seconds.

The levels include:

  • 1-5: Tank levels. Levels 3 and 5 are "straight missile" levels where the players' projectiles simply fly forward. On the "guided missile" levels (1, 2, 4) the projectiles can be controlled with a joystick after firing.
  • 6-9: "Tank-pong" levels, where the players' missiles bounce off walls. In the "billiard hit" levels (8 and 9), there's an additional rule that a missile must bounce at least once before it can hit the enemy tank.
  • 10 and 11: Invisible tank levels, where the tanks only become briefly visible when they shoot, bump into a wall, or are hit by a missile. Both of these give the players guided missiles.
  • 12-14: Invisible "tank-pong" levels. Levels 13 and 14 use the "billiard hit" rule.
  • 15-20: Biplane levels, where the players fly planes that are constantly moving forward and wrap around to the other side when they fly off the screen. Levels 15 and 19 use guided missiles; 16 and 20 use straight missiles; on 17 and 18, the players use rapid-fire machine guns. Additionally, level 19 is a "2 vs. 2" level - both players have two planes each that move and shoot together - and level 20 is "1 vs. 3", where one player has three planes while the other has a single large plane.
  • 21-27: Jet fighter levels. The jet planes move faster than biplanes, but other than that gameplay remains similar. 22, 24, and 27 are straight missile levels, the rest are guided-missile levels. Additionally, 25 and 27 are "2 vs. 2" levels, while 26 is a "1 vs. 3" level.

Groups +


Credits (Atari 2600 version)

6 People

Conceived by
Scoring system and last-minute bug fixes
Cover Artwork



1001 Video Games

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


Combat was one of the nine games available for the launch of the Atari 2600 in 1977. It was supplied with the 2600 game console and even came with the Sears branded VCS.

References to the game

A copy of this game is visible on top of the lead character's television in the 1983 David Cronenberg film Videodrome.


  • FLUX
    • Issue #4 - #48 in the "Top 100 Video Games of All-Time" list
  • Retro Gamer
    • Issue #46 - #24 in the “Top 25 Atari 2600 Games" poll

Information also contributed by Big John WV, Depeche Mike, PCGamer77, Scott Monster and FatherJack

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 8851


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by wanax.

Plex Arcade added by firefang9212. Windows, Xbox 360 added by Alaka.

Additional contributors: RKL, Servo, chirinea, LepricahnsGold, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added April 11th, 2003. Last modified April 26th, 2023.