released on Sep 11, 1977

Combat is an early video game by Atari, Inc. for the Atari 2600. It was based on two earlier black-and-white coin-operated arcade games produced by Atari. Combat had color graphics and numerous gameplay variations. The 27 game modes featured a variety of different combat scenarios, including tanks, biplanes, and jet fighters. The tank games had interesting options such as bouncing munitions ("Tank-Pong") and invisibility. The biplane and jet games also allowed for variation, such as multiple planes per player and an inventive game with a squadron of planes versus one giant bomber.

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(Atari 50)
tfw you're trying to try out every game but there's no singleplayer mode

there's two big points i want to make off the bat about combat, which i feel is generally snubbed in discussions of historically important atari games -
1. combat was born into a world where pong was the dominant form of Electronic Television Game. but take your pong ball, snatched from the gentlemans sport of choice, and try blasting it through the barrel of a tank or a biplane's gunner and see if that doesn't shake things up. the combat here is obviously meant to be horrific warfare but the early limitations of programming for the 2600 (mainly in terms of visual & auditory presentation) leave your tanks feeling more like little creatures, squealing and groaning and spinning violently when hit. at the time this all must have been very unnerving
2. video game consoles used to for family entertainment and not for you lonely saps. i can't deny that the game being two-player only makes it a bit difficult to work with in 2023 but why judge it by those standards when its perfectly novel and sick within its own context. one can only imagine how thrilling it must have been to unwrap your brand new sleek wood-grain gaming rig in 1977 with the most gnarly looking launch title you'd ever seen up to that point. no more sticky plastic overlays of state capitols that peel off the tv screen for me mom, im going to WAR
another point worth mentioning is that you're not just getting one game here, you're getting a whopping 27. of course these are just different variations on the tank and biplane game modes but theres a lot of nuance to be found in there. the wall-bounce modes and the invisible tank mode are probably the most popular for good reason, both being very simple but novel twists on the base formula. we dont even have invisible tanks yet in real life
so overall i think combat is an understandably frustrating but still very worthwhile game that i very much appreciate knowing its place in history. the guys who made this were beating their heads against the wall trying to figure out how the fuck to make those dudes on your screen drive around and shoot each other, be grateful. its the 2600 launch title for gods sake...

Hold up, this is actually pretty good for an Atari game. It's a game where you battle your friends with tanks and planes, and there are plenty of different modes you can try to mix things up. Yes, it may be simple, and it has that Atari weirdness you would expect, but I think this would be a fun game to play with friends. You know, if I had any.
Game #123

This game is an OK distraction. Not super fun these days, probably good way to settle arguments tho lol

One of the earliest multiplayer shooters that while simplistic, is still a fun way to pass the time with a friend.

When you think "multiplayer Atari game" you think COMBAT, and this game is always a treat to play, and come back to, with simple controls... or tank controls.
The game is a fun 1 v 1 where you and a friend fight within your tanks, very simple and fun and iconic.
Love Combat! Played this on Atari 50 Collection