Armor Attack

The Arcade Video Game by Cinematronics, Inc.

Armor Attack screenshot


Emulated in MAME ! Coin-Operated Arcade Video Game

Armor Attack © 1980 Cinematronics.

A wireframe, top-down shoot-em-up in which the player controls a small jeep and must destroy the many tanks and helicopters that populate the war-torn cityscape that represents the game's single play area. As with many games of the time ("Space Invaders", "Battlezone", etc.), Armor Attack's graphics were simple monochrome, with a colour overlay added to the cabinet to give the impression of multicolour graphics.


Armor Attack the  Arcade Video Game
Click to enlarge
(members only)
Armor Attack came in an upright white cabinet, with stick-on sideart featuring a tank scene and a yellow 'Armor Attack' logo. This was the same cabinet used for "Star Castle" and a number of other Cinematronics titles. The top of the cabinet is adorned with a rather plain marquee that has the Armor Attack logo in yellow on a black background; together with a few game instructions. The control panel had a picture of a green and yellow tank, and had the player controls which consisted of 10 pushbuttons, without a joystick to be seen anywhere (the game controls are almost exactly the same as "Asteroids" or "Star Castle", except that your jeep stops moving when the player stops pressing the move button). Most of the graphical time was spent on the monitor bezel and overlay, which showed a single scene of a ruined town.

Upright cabinet dimensions : 70'' (176cm) high x 30'' (76cm) deep x 26,5'' (65cm) wide. Weight : 280 lbs.
Cocktail cabinet dimensions : 74cm high x 56cm wide x 81 deep. Weight : 76 kg.

The main motherboard PCB is the same basic design as all other Cinematronics games. It has been modified to accept larger 4k 2732 eproms, up from the original 2k 2716 roms used on previous games. With four 2732 eproms, the program code for Armor Attack is 16k in size.

As with all other black & white Cinematronics vector games, the CPU was created using TTL chips.

Buttons : 10


Licensed to Sega for Japan market (July 1980). Also licensed to Rock-ola.

As mentioned in the 'Description' section, all of the background graphics were created with the addition of a monitor bezel/plastic overlay; with the game itself only generating the jeeps, tanks, helicopters and the shots they fire. Armor Attack was one of two games Skelly created for Cinematronics that required overlay backgrounds, with 'Warrior' being the other. Skelly designed six vector games and programmed five of them during his tenure at Cinematronics.

According to some, the morse code sound effects in the background actually spell out a message : "Don't Register". This was reportedly a form of protest by Skelly against the fact that draft registration had recently been re-instated.

Paul Hall and Derek Davis hold the official record for this game on 'Doubles' settings with 2,257,850 points on April 2, 1982.
Tom Larkin holds the official record for this game on 'Single' settings with 2,009,000 points on September 25, 1982.


Tank body : 20 points.
Tank turret : 30 points.
Helicopter : 100 points.

Bonus is advanced by 10 points per tank.
By advancing bonus to 50, player scores an extra jeep which then resets bonus to zero.


Designed & programmed by: Tim Skelly
Cabinet Art: Rick Bryant



GCE Vectrex (1982)


LCD handheld game (1982) released by Mattel.

Game's ROM.
Game's picture.
All In Color For a Quarter - Keith Smith

Page last modified on February 28, 2013