The Game: War is pixellated, blocky hell on the Odyssey2! In Armored Encounter, two combatants in tanks circumnavigate a maze peppered with land mines, searching for the optimum spot from which to blow each other to kingdom come. In Sub Chase, a bomber plane and a submarine, both maneuverable in their own way, try to take each other out without blasting any non-combatant boats routinely running between them (darn that civilian shipping!). In both games, the timer is counting down for both sides to blow each other straight to hell. (Magnavox, 1978)
Memories: Armored Encounter! is a somewhat standard-issue variation on Atari’s Tank coin-op (which that company later used to launch the Atari VCS under the name of Combat), only with a vastly simpified map.
Tank and its various clones – including this cartridge – can be a lot of fun with the right pairing of players. My biggest beef with Armored Encounter! is that later games like K.C. Munchkin! and Monkeyshines! proved that the Odyssey2 could have easily produced more elaborate and more challenging mazes for the tanks to navigate. As it is, these tanks might as well be squaring off in spacious, adjacent aisles at a grocery store. Artillery and shrapnel cleanup in aisle three!
For something that really makes Combat look like 2K child’s play, I heartily recommend the almost infinitely more challenging Conquest Of The World, even if you can only find a loose cartridge without all of the boardgame trappings. It provides more obstacles, fewer completely symmetrical battlefields, and less predictability overall.