Tank Battalion: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview


Created in 1980 by Namco, Tank Battalion was a moderately successful arcade shooting game. Distributed in the U.S. by Game Plan Inc., Tank Battalion was later ported to the Emerson Arcadia 2001, the Sord-M5, the Game Boy and the Japanese based Super Famicon. However, the name of this arcade classic was changed to Battle City.

Some details of Tank Battalion were changed when the game was ported, but overall game play remains the same. Tank Battalion was one of the first video games to give players the ability to shoot in all four directions. Two sequels, Vs. Battle City and Tank Force were later released by Namco in 1985 and 1991, respectively.

The original version of Tank Battalion features alternating one or two player game play. The port to Tank Battalion, called Battle City, allows two players to engage in game play at the same time. A later version of Tank Battalion allows as many as eight people to enjoy the game simultaneously.


Game Play Overview

In Tank Battalion, each stage is made up of 20 roving enemy tanks. Your job is to destroy all opponents and protect your home base. The main character controls a tank that is equipped with a large cannon, capable of eliminating enemies with a single strike. There are 35 stages in all each with their own unique layout.

When all 35 levels are successfully navigated, the game restarts over from the first board. Either 30, 60, 150 or 300 points are earned for each tank destroyed. If the home base is destroyed, or if all lives are used up, the game will be over. At the start of the game, players are given three lives.

Special Features

A standard number of points are given for each tank that players blow up. A bonus is given when special tanks are destroyed. Unfortunately, special tanks have no special markings. Players will only learn that they have received a bonus after a special tank has been eliminated.

An extra man is made available after 20,000 points are earned.


Enemy tanks – Tanks from opposing forces are blue and shoot on sight. Avoid being hit by their gunfire or accidentally being run over by them.

Home Base – The home base is represented by a gold angel icon. If an enemy is able to infiltrate the home base, a turn will be lost.

Player tank – Besides color, the player tank looks exactly like enemy tanks. The player tank is yellow.

How to Play Tank Battalion

All four directional keys are used to control the player tank. Use the action key to shoot enemies, but avoid hitting any part of the terrain. While you will not be penalized directly for hitting a brick wall, but portions of it will be destroyed. This can inadvertently expose both the player tank and home base to enemy attacks.

The same number of enemies appears on each stage. On the bottom, right-hand side of the screen, there is a bar that contains icons representing all 20 enemies. Each time one is destroyed, the corresponding icon will disappear. This makes it easier for players to keep track of how many enemy tanks they have dispatched, as well as how many opponents they have left to take out.

As players get further along, tanks from opposing forces will move faster and shoot furiously. If you can manage to keep at least one of your lives throughout all 35 stages, you can beat Tank Battalion.

Hints and Tips
- Use all parts of the terrain to your advantage. It is impossible for opponents to shoot through brick walls, so hide strategically and attack only when you feel safe. If too many enemies are coming your way, be sure to retreat behind a wall.

- Protecting the home base is a priority. You can lose the game just as easily from losing a turn as you could from allowing the home base to be overrun.


We hope you enjoyed the video and the information shared on this classic arcade game.

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