Tank is a 2 player arcade game by Atari Inc. subsidiary Kee Games, originally released on November 5, 1974 and designed by Steve Bristow and Lyle Rains. The game is famous for causing such demand that Atari made its "secret" ownership of Kee Games public, merging the company back in to Atari and releasing Tank under the Atari label as well.
Tank uses a black and white Motorola television for its display. The control panel consists of 4 military style joysticks, 2 per player, with a fire button mounted on top of the right joystick of each pair.
Inserting coins immediately starts the game, placing the players in the upper right and lower left corners of the maze respectively. The first 50 or so cabinets produced have a protruding wooden coin box area between the two speaker grills.
Tank was the first game to use IC-based ROM to store graphical data. Although Gran Trak 10, released in July 1974, was the first arcade game to use ROM data, Gran-Trak's ROM used an earlier diode-based ROM technology.
The custom game cabinet was designed by Peter L. Takaichi and patented Oct. 20, 1975 (US Patent # D243,624).
Players move their tanks through a maze on screen, avoiding mines and shooting each other. The players are represented by one black and one white tank sprite, and mines are denoted by an "X". Points are scored by shooting the opponent or when a player runs over a mine, the player with the highest score at the end of the time limit winning the game.
The tanks are controlled by two joysticks in a dual configuration. Pushing both joysticks will move the player's tank forward, and pulling them both back causes the tank to stop. Moving the right joystick forward while pulling the left joystick back will cause the tank to turn right, while reversing the motion will cause the tank to turn left.
- The Coleco Telstar Combat!, released in 1977, played four variations of Kee Games' Tank using a General Instruments AY-3-8700 Tank chip.
- Tank II in 1974.
- Tank III in 1975.
- The full color and Motorola 6800 microprocessor based Tank 8 in 1976.
- The 6502 microprocessor based Ultra Tank in 1978.
- Battlezone was released in 1980, using the same control mechanism. Designed by Ed Rotberg, the game play was moved to 3D first person format displayed by vector graphics. The player also now competed against computer controlled opponents.