My last post about Tengen’s Tetris reminded me of another early favorite, one of the few games of the time (the ones I can remember, in any event) that allowed co-operative play.
Battle City was pretty simple: You play as a little yellow tank, top-down shooter style, defending your base from enemy tanks that spawn at the top of the screen. The second player was a little green tank, and strangely it was one of the few games we used to fight over to play as player 2.
It was one of the best games in a household with 2 kids and, as was typical in those days, a single TV and console. Most games with 2 player options, or the ones I remember at any rate, only allowed the second player to play on alternate “turns” giving the second player a chance once the first had died. It was a real pain in the ass, since this meant a skilled player would get the most time playing - it wasn’t really fun watching someone get to world 4-2 on Super Mario before dying, and you die to the very first Goomba on 1-1. If you were lucky, your sibling would allow you to try a couple more times.
Battle City was great, for obvious reasons - allowing 2 players to play at the same time meant game time was shared, everyone wins. Except, of course, the enemy tanks!