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M > MISC > Arcade video games  > Software list > Software detail

Arcade video games


"You feel good as your tank rolls along the road. Suddenly, the crunching, clanking sound of another tank treads is heard. A shell bursts near your tank! You swing toward the enemy - and fire! Missed!! You reload and take evasive action. The enemy tank gets closer - trying for a better shot. It fires - just to the right. You brake, swing and fire point blank! Your shell "SHIRRS", and then - the ground shakes as it explodes! The enemy tank lies still. You've WON! - this time....

Realistic tank sounds: rumbling, as they move. The clanking of treads, a small burst as the cannons fire, a big burst as the tank explodes. True-to-Life tank control too! TANK! You've never had it so REAL!"

Release in november 1974 by Kee Games, Tank became the most popular game of that year. Kee Games was in fact a company created by Atari to simulate competition and thus take a largest part of the market. The game became so popular that the exclusivity agreements demanded by distributors were thrown out the window, allowing Atari and Kee to re-form as one company.

The game was designed by Steve Bristow and Lyle Rains at Kee Games, with Lyle doing much of the programming. "I was working on it when I hired Lyle," Steve Bristow recalled, "Then I gave it to him and he finished it. A lot of the implementation was his, but the original idea was mine."

Tank was an instant hit because it had superior graphics and realistic sound. The theme was also a novelty and changed from the myriad of pong games released so far. The success of Tank even enabled Atari to survive in a bad period for them.

Tank was the first game to use IC-based ROM to store graphical data.

Tank had many sequels and inspired a lot of other games, such as Combat for Atari 2600.


    Tank inspired Combat (Coleco Telstar Combat)
    Tank inspired Combat (Atari 2600)
    Tank inspired Desert Fox / Shooting Gallery (Fairchild Channel F)
    Tank inspired Tank II (Arcade)
    Tank is related to Jet Fighter (Arcade)


 The Bronze Age Arcade Game Archive - very interesting document to learn more about Tank
 detailed info on Killer List of Video Games
 detailed info on The Arcade Flyer Archive
 detailed info on

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Arcade cabinet

year of release 1974
companies Kee Games
type game
media arcade cabinet
systems Arcade
number of players 2 players (versus)
staff Steve Bristow (designer), Lyle Rains (programmer)
tags duel, maze, tank

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