Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Atari Combat -Atari 2600
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewAtari Combat for Atari 2600 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Combat
Manufacturer: Atari
Platform: Atari 2600
Release Date: 1977
Part #: CX2601
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Atari Combat Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Atari Combat Screenshot:
Atari Combat for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

We're taught early on that you don't get something for nothing. Combat was the pack-in game for the Atari 2600 from launch and on into the early 80's. The graphics are simple, but most kids in the late 70s seemed to expect more. Everyone owned it, but no one wanted to PLAY it! Back in the day there wasn't much to compare it to, but my friends never wanted to play Combat. Holy shit, maybe they just hated me - lol

Today, folks seem to find it all the rage. My theory is it was so maligned at inception, that it seems like a new game today. Who knows...

Combat Game Play

Atari Combat for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

From tanks and biplanes to jet fighters, it would seem that Combat's 27 game variations would keep gamers happy for a while - as long as you have a friend to join in. Combat is a 2-player game. Sure you can try a single player game, but its pretty easy to hit an enemy that sits still the entire time.

Most of the games are tank-based which suits me just fine. There are some really creative variants to try. Regardless how much fun you do have, ALL games end in 2 minutes and 16 seconds.

Combat Difficulty Switches

To even the odds or add more challenge, the Difficulty Switches can be used independently for each player with different effects depending on whether you're playing Tanks or Airplanes.

Across all the games, the "A" position will hinder play thus increasing the challenge. The "A" position causes missile range to be shorter. When playing eiher of the Airplane variants, the "A" position causes the plane to fly slower.

Like Space invaders for 2600 I dig the invisible options. Nothing invokes a challenge more than not being able to see. The billiard options are pretty cool too. In these you have to ricochet your shots off walls and obstacles. Guided missiles are pretty cool, but require a few beers to really make the action worthy.

Atari Combat for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

I'll be the first to admit that the biplane and jet variants just don't do it for me. OK, the giant clouds that briefly hide your aircraft are slick and the ability to fly off the edge of the screen and return in an Asteroids kind of way. That aspect makes the conquest a little more interesting. As I said before, beer changes everything.


Atari Combat for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

To me the biplane and jet games just seem like the same old thing with a slightly different craft. They don't have much differentiation unless your imagination is super-charged and this distinction actually means something to you. Personally, I find the Tank games more diverse and fun to play.

Don't fret over Combat's simplicity. Once you get into it the strategies mount and it becomes a lot of fun.


Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Atari Combat

isn't the kind of game you rush home to play, but when you have a player 2 on-hand you'll be surprised at how fast the competition rises. It was a freebie pack-in title for the 2600, but still packs a lot of fun for two.

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