Domark launch the new Tengen label, on which most major Atari coin-op conversions will appear for three years, with this space-tank shoot-em-up for one or two players.
Controlling an SR 88 Strategic Battle Tank, the player must eliminate each one of 14 multi-level space stations, sent to conquer earth by the evil alien Tangent Empire, by finding and destroying the control centre at the heart of each station. To reach the next level, the player must locate and trundle over a key.
Each level is defended with turrets and roaming tanks, but to make your job slightly easier a number of star symbols lying on the floor can be collected and traded for goodies such as increased shot power, speed and shield strength. Unfortunately, the tank is very fuel-hungry so you'll also have to collect fuel canisters. After bombing a control centre the player enters a bonus room littered with goodies to collect.
Good coin-ops don't always make good computer games but, happily, Vindicators does. The 'viewed from almost directly above' perspective works well and the sprites and backgrounds are great, with the explosions worthy of particular note. Sound is not so impressive: sampled tunes are reasonable but effects are weak. Vindicators is an out-of-the-ordinary shoot-em-up, very addictive and playable, especially when played with a friend. This is a good start for the Tengen label: let's hope everything that follows in the future is just as good.
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