Combat 1990


Combat 1990 is a homebrew title for the Atari 7800 that won second place at the 2005 homebrew contest. The game plays homage to the original Combat game that was packed with the Atari VCS between 1977 and 1982. Whereas the original title was a combination of two Atari arcade titles (Tank and Jet Figher), Combat 1990 only has the tank games and introduces a few changes to the formula.

First, the game has both one and two-player options, with the latter being a cooperative mode. This is different from the original Combat where players fought each other. The tanks are now equipped with shields to help them resist impacts, though these shields are disabled when firing. Shields can be replenished by driving over energy pods located through the ground. When the game starts, each player has five tanks and the goal is to destroy as many enemy tanks and saucers as possible. The game ends either when all five tanks are lost or when five minutes have passed. If the game ends at five minutes, bonus points are awarded for any remaining tanks and shield energy. Combat 1990 seems like a missed opportunity. The game has very plain graphics that do not take advantage of the capabilities of the 7800. Even the never-released Combat II or Armor Ambush on the 2600 had nicer graphics than this. The lack of a head-to-head 2-player mode is also disappointing as this was what the original was known for. Game sounds are minimal but so they were on the original game. Overall, the game can be enjoyed but it leaves you wanting more.


TrekMD is an MD by day and a writer by night, a lover of all things Atari. You can visit his ramblings  on Twitter at:

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