You remember Combat right? The game that came with the Atari 2600 originally? Well, Namco redid it for the arcades in 1980, except they added more to it than just blowing each other up. There was a Defend the Base motif behind it, so you had some sort of motive for blasting away tanks instead of just a high score. Also, you didn't stick to the same board or pattern the entire game. After a set number of tanks get destroyed, you move onto another level with a different design, and there were well over 20 individual levels. The game itself did decent numbers in Japan, and it fared okay in some larger markets in the US, where a small company called Game Plan handled the distribution.

The game came to the Nintendo FamiCom in 1985 under the name Battle City. There was a level editor in the package as well, as the game had a battery backup to save custom levels. It's also one of the more common games in the pirated multicarts (i.e. 100-in-1 Contra Function 16), and it showed up on the Nintendo-developed Vs. Unisystem arcade machines. There was also a better-looking sequel in 1991 called Tank Force. The original game is also in Volume 2 of the Japanese Namco History series for Windows, and in Volume 1 of Namco Gallery for the Game Boy (once again, called Battle City). As far as emulation goes, both the original and the Vs. Unisystem versions are playable in MAME.

King & Balloon -- Rally-X

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