Battle City

a game by Namco Ltd.
Platforms: NESNES, GameBoy
Editor Rating: 9/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 4 votes
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See also: Retro Games
Battle City
Battle City
Battle City

As we navigate the madness that is 2020, the games that this year has treated us too have been some of the most technologically advanced and well-received titles of all time. Titles such as The Last of Us: Part 2 or Final Fantasy VII. Though, we are taking a moment to look back in time to a 1985 classic that would criminally never receive a release outside of Japan. The title in question is NES hit, Battle City.

This game plays most similarly to modern top-down titles like Bomberman or The The Binding of Isaac. Though has that recognisable pixelated style synonymous with the era. Thing games like Pac-man or Dig-Dug but with military-grade tanks at your disposal.

Attack and defend

The gameplay of this title has a lot of similarities to Space Invaders in its approach. Players will have a set number of tanks to destroy to clear a level and will have to contend with different textured blockades with varying attributes. All the while trying to shoot down your targets and simultaneously defend your base.

The depth that these barricades provide to the gameplay is rather impressive for the time of release. Not to mention the power-up system that gives more power to the player which will be needed to succeed in the more challenging stages of the game.

Classic Arcade gaming

The game simplicity works in its favour. With a low entry difficulty level, basically, any player can jump on and play this game without any need for tutorials or training. It’s all very intuitive and has a learn as you go kind of vibe. If you get shot, you lose a life. Do that enough you get a game over screen. Shoot enough tanks, you proceed to the next stage. It’s rudimentary and yet it is still fun in the present day.

Some variation

Battle City does its best to shake up the gameplay as the player advances in stages and becomes more skilled. The tank frequency increases, the terrain placement becomes more of a challenge to navigate effectively. Plus tanks start taking an extra hit to go down, which sounds like no big deal but when you’re cornered and need to act fast, this makes a perilous situation even more difficult to escape.

A lost gem

Everything about Battle City screams arcade classic and it seems unthinkable that this title would never have its time to shine in the western world. The game would have a respectable market share in Japan upon release but it seems criminal that this title didn’t get a run out on the global stage. It is thought that the Cold War had something to do with the title not making it to the likes of the US or Europe, although there is no concrete evidence of this.

9

All we know is that this title is deceptively deep in mechanics, yet so simple and fun in action. It’s a joy even today to have this blast from the past have you rule the battlefield in this pixelated arcade classic. If you can get your hands on a copy, we urge you to give this a try, you won’t regret it.

Pros

  • Varied and progressive gameplay
  • Classic arcade fun
  • Retro art style done right

Cons

  • Hard to get a copy
  • Gameplay can become predictable after a while

Download Battle City

NES

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

Gameboy

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

GameBoy Screenshots

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots

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