Armor Attack

Armor Attack is a vector graphics multidirectional shooter designed by Tim Skelly and released in arcades by Cinematronics in 1980.[1] It was licensed to Sega in Japan. In Armor Attack, the player controls a jeep in an overhead, maze-like view of a town. The buildings are not drawn in the game, but are an overlay that sits on top of the monitor.[2] The overlay also tints the vectors green.

Armor Attack
Armor Attack Rock-Ola arcade machine.jpg
Armor Attack Rock-Ola arcade machine
Sega (Japan)
Designer(s)Tim Skelly [1]
Platform(s)Arcade, Vectrex
Release1980: Arcade
1982: Vectrex
Genre(s)Multidirectional shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, 2-player co-op

Armor Attack was released for the Vectrex in 1982.[3]


The visuals are stark without the monitor overlay.

The jeep is armed with a rocket launcher that fires straight forward; the player can have two rockets on-screen at the time. The driving is similar to Combat for the Atari 2600 and the Asteroids arcade game where one button rotates the jeep clockwise, while a second button rotates the jeep counterclockwise. A third button simulates the gas pedal to move forward while a fourth button is used for firing.

Tanks periodically spawn from different locations on the edge of the screen and drive towards the player. The tanks always travel along horizontal or vertical lines, unlike the freely moving jeep. Tank turrets move to track the player, allowing them to shoot in any direction. Tanks normally take two hits to kill, and the player can have only two rockets on the screen at a time. The helicopter spawns from any point, and approaches the player in looping paths flying over the jeep and periodically firing. If hit, the helicopter spirals in. Destroying the helicopter rewards the player with an extra life.

The player can be killed by being shot by either the tanks of helicopter, or by colliding with the tanks. In two-player mode, the players can not kill each other. Gameplay periodically speeds up to increase the difficulty.


David H. Ahl of Creative Computing Video & Arcade Games praised the "amazing realism" of the enemy helicopter in the Vectrex version.[4]


  1. ^ a b Hague, James. "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".
  2. ^ "Armor Attack". Outerworld Arcade. Archived from the original on 2015-12-31. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Foot, Daniel. "Armor Attack". Vectrex World. Archived from the original on 2019-05-15. Retrieved 2015-11-22.
  4. ^ Ahl, David H. (Spring 1983). "The Vectrex Arcade System". Creative Computing Video & Arcade Games. p. 56.

External linksEdit