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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 ST The main menu
Battlezone ZX Spectrum Dead
Battlezone Apple II Game over
Battlezone ZX Spectrum High score input

Promo Images

Battlezone Magazine Advertisement
Battlezone Magazine Advertisement Inside front cover

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Relive the first first-person shooter in a surprisingly faithful reproduction of the original arcade game. PC Booter Trixter (9115)

Critic Reviews

The Video Game Critic Atari 2600 Feb 13, 2019 A 100
The Atari Times Atari 2600 Nov 02, 2006 90 out of 100 90
Digital Press - Classic Video Games Atari 2600 Sep 25, 2004 7 out of 10 70
Retro Archives Atari 8-bit Apr 06, 2022 11 out of 20 55
Retro Archives ZX Spectrum Apr 06, 2022 11 out of 20 55
Retro Archives Atari 2600 Apr 06, 2022 10.5 out of 20 52
The Games Machine (UK) Atari ST Sep, 1988 51 out of 100 51
The Good Old Days (Staff Reviews only) Atari 2600 Feb 01, 2008 3 out of 6 50
Game Freaks 365 Atari 2600 Jan 07, 2009 3.8 out of 10 38
The Video Game Critic Atari 8-bit Sep 23, 2007 F 0


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 NĂ©lio, PCGamer77 and FatherJack.

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Contributed to by Trixter (9115), Alaka (86550), Kabushi (257593), Martin Smith (78698), Pseudo_Intellectual (64350), Servo (57355) and wanax (338)
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