Namco’s 1991 release Tank Force rumbles in the Arcade Archives

tank force arcade archives

Tanks for the Memories

Once again, retro-lovin’ publisher Hamster is reaching into the past of legendary studio Namco for another addition to its massive Arcade Archive range — This week sees the arrival of one of the developer’s lesser-known ’90s hits, Tank Force, now available to download on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

Released to the arcade market in 1991, Tank Force is the third release in Namco’s unofficial “Tank Battalion” trilogy — preceded by Tank Battalion (1980) and Battle City (1985). This multi-directional shooter sees up to four players battle it out in top-down, caterpillar-rolling action. A total of seven different tanks are available, all featuring their own respective traits and weapons, and a massive arsenal of 15 weapons and power-ups can be picked up to turn the tide of battle in your favor.

Check out the warfaring action in the video below, courtesy of YouTuber VideoGaming4U.

Featuring maze-like maps, destructible environments, land hazards, and winner-takes-all gameplay, Tank Force can be seen as something of an alternate to multiplayer hits such as Irem’s cutesy hit Bomberman, though it obviously lacks the charm and charisma of the Hudson Soft series. Tank Force would not be ported to the home market of the 1990s, though it would make a reappearance as part of a number of Namco classic compendiums. Today, Tank Force‘s dynamic, score-attack-based gameplay has helped attract a niche but devoted community, still chasing those ’90s high-score dreams.

Tank Force is available to download now on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, priced at around $8.

Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s and writing about them since the 1880s. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse