Mattel must have clearly seen the success Atari had with Combat on the 2600 and they must have figured they’d not only create a tank game for the Intellivision but one that would make the 2600 game look like garbage…and I would have to say that they certainly succeeded in the looks department. Armor Battle looks fantastic. The combat field has buildings, trees, roads, bunkers, you name it. There are 240 different battlefields that the program randomly selects each new wave of the game.
Armor Battle, like Combat, is a two-player only game, so make sure you have a friend to play against if you want to enjoy it. You get two tanks that you can control, though not simultaneously, in order to attack your opponent. Of course, they also have two tanks to attack you! Your job is to destroy your enemy’s tanks before they destroy yours. The tanks look great but it is somewhat weird that you are looking at the battlefield from above yet the tanks are seen at an angle. The tank that you are actively controlling looks larger and you can easily switch tanks by pressing eight. Besides shooting your adversary with your main gun turret, you also can set invisible mines that will help destroy the enemy. You will want to be able to switch tanks if the tank you are controlling gets hit because it will continue to get pounded no matter what you try. You see, the tanks don’t shift position when they are hit (as happens in Combat), so if your enemy has you in the line of fire, they may just keep at it until they’ve hit your tank three consecutive times effectively destroying it. This is your chance to switch tanks and turn the tables on your opponent. One interesting aspect about Armor Battle is that there is recoil after you shoot which does move you and changes your line of fire. This means that you have to be ready to shift position in order to keep on hitting your target. Once one of the players loses both tanks, the game goes to an information screen that lets each player know how many tanks they have left and from which you start the next wave of battle. Be prepared for a long time playing as each player gets 50 tanks and the game continues until one player loses all 50 tanks. Game sounds are basic (tank movement, guns shooting, explosions) but quite sufficient for the game. This game can be quite fun if you have a worthy opponent to play against.