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We here at the Tech Deck are just like you: poor gamers looking for cheap entertainment. And nothing's cheaper than cost-free gaming. Each week, we'll bring you a title (or two or three) you can legally play at home without plopping down a single dollar. If you see games you think we should be featuring on the blog, email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you were lucky enough to get an Atari 2600 home console in September 1977, you had a choice of nine launch titles to fill your gaming lifestyle. One, Basic Math, was just a glorified homework assignment. Combat, a two-player title released in the infancy of multiplayer home gaming, pitted contestants against each in battles on land and in the air. You can play an enhanced version of the game, for free, through Atari's arcade room by clicking the link below!
Used the ASWD keys to move your tank around, and the space bar to fire. The goal is to simply eliminate your opponents by hitting them with missile fire. It doesn't get any simpler than that.
The arcade version above offers a multiplayer mode, but I couldn't get it working. That's too bad, because there's few joys in the world like a challenge of reflexes and wits in a cagey mano a mano tank battle.
We didn't have Combat growing up, but I remember a clone that my babysitter's son had for his Atari that pitted two gunslingers against each other. Successful shots would blow away pixels on the character until one man stood triumphant, or at least that's what I remember. Apparently that game was titled "Outlaw" and was also made by Atari, around the same time Combat saw a home release.
What's your favorite Atari 2600 game? Did you own Combat? Let us know in the comments below, and check back soon for another free game.