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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.


Battlezone Atari 2600 Title screen and game demo
Battlezone Atari 2600 Something dangerous this way comes...
Battlezone Atari 2600 The screen flashes with many brightly colored patterns when you die
Battlezone Atari 2600 Destroyed an enemy

Promo Images

Battlezone Magazine Advertisement
Battlezone Magazine Advertisement Inside front cover

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

There are no reviews for the Atari 2600 release of this game. You can use the links below to write your own review or read reviews for the other platforms of this game.

Critic Reviews

Woodgrain Wonderland Oct 02, 2016 A 100
The Atari Times Nov 02, 2006 90 out of 100 90
Tilt Jan, 1984 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 83
neXGam Jun 27, 2013 8.3 out of 10 83
Digital Press - Classic Video Games Sep 25, 2004 7 out of 10 70
Electronic Fun with Computers & Games Jan, 1984 2.5 out of 4 62
Atari HQ 2000 6 out of 10 60
Retro Archives Apr 06, 2022 10.5 out of 20 52
The Good Old Days (Staff Reviews only) Feb 01, 2008 3 out of 6 50
TeleMatch Nov, 1983 5 out of 6 20


Topic # Posts Last Post
The arcade original 1 John F
Aug 23, 2007


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 Web Sites

Servo (57351) added Battlezone (Atari 2600) on Apr 08, 2003
Other platforms contributed by Trixter (9114), Alaka (94350), Kabushi (257787), Martin Smith (81122), Pseudo_Intellectual (65072), Servo (57351) and wanax (338)
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