Assault (1988 video game)

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Assault arcade flyer.jpg
Arcade flyer
Designer(s)Kunio Ogawara
Composer(s)Shinji Hosoe
Kazuo Noguchi
  • JP: April 1988
  • NA: 1988
Playstation(Namco Museum Volume 4)
  • JP: November 8, 1996
  • NA: June 30, 1997
  • EU: August 18, 1997
Wii Virtual Console
  • JP: June 9, 2009
Genre(s)Multi-directional shooter
Mode(s)Single player
CabinetStandard upright
Arcade systemNamco System 2
CPU2x Motorola 68000 @ 12.288 MHz,
1x Motorola M6809 @ 3.072 MHz,
1x Hitachi HD63705 @ 2.048 MHz
Sound1x Yamaha YM2151 @ 3.57958 MHz,
1x C140 @ 21.39 kHz
DisplayVertical orientation, raster, 224 x 288 resolution

Assault (アサルト, Asaruto) is a multi-directional shooter arcade game released by Namco in 1988 and licensed to Atari Games for U.S. manufacture and distribution. It is the last Namco game that was licensed to Atari, even though their logo still appears on the Mejā Stadium scoreboard in World Stadium '89 Kaimakuban and '90.[citation needed]

The player's tank always points toward the top of the screen, and when the tank turns the entire playfield rotates around the tank. Assault made early use of hardware sprite scaling (preceded by at least Sega's Space Harrier in 1985).


The player controls a futuristic tank, attacking the surface forces of an alien environment. The tank is controlled by two four-way joysticks. The standard movements, such as "forward" and "turn left", are executed in the same manner as those of other tank driving games, like Battlezone. That is, the player pushes both joysticks away for "forward", pulls the left joystick towards and pushes the right one away for "turn left" and opposite for "turn right". But since the joysticks are four-way, two other moves are available. Pushing the joysticks away from one another causes the tank to rear up on its back end for a moment. When in this position, the player can fire a nuclear blast, instead of the standard shots, fired in the normal position. Afterwards, the tank returns to its regular mode. If both joysticks are pushed right or left, the tank will roll (or "strafe") in the chosen direction. There are special "power" platforms encountered throughout the game. When the tank is driven unto the platform, it is catapulted into the air and the battlefield is seen from a higher vantage point, and therefore more of the map is also shown. This allows the player to target and shoot at enemy forces from the air, including some that could not be seen in the regular and smaller frame.

The tank is airdropped from above onto the battlefield. When a stage is cleared, the tank raises above the surface and then drops through a hatch in the ground.

The player battles eleven waves of enemy forces (if its "SELECT" setting is set to "ON", the player can begin on Stage 6). After the final stage, the player is rewarded with a list of schematics of the tank (much like the ending for Namco's own Blazer), and a final screen saying "Thanks for your play".

Assault Plus[edit]

Assault was followed by Assault Plus, an upgraded version with redesigned visuals and color palettes, and additional higher-ranked enemies in earlier stages. Instead of a linear run through all 11 stages as in original Assault, the game is presented in episodic format, with episodes titled "Rehearsal for the Core" and "Battle for the Core". "Rehearsal" takes place in Stages 1, 3, 4, 5, and the first area of Stage 1, and "Battle" contains all the stages except for Stage 1. Assault Plus was not given a release outside Japan; however, it is included as a bonus game in Namco Museum Volume 4 through a cheat code.[1]


Reviewing Namco Museum Volume 4 for GameSpot, Jeff Gerstmann called Assault "the gem of the package."[2] Dan Hsu and Crispin Boyer of Electronic Gaming Monthly said it was one of the two best games in the collection, though they warned readers that the game requires the PlayStation Analog Joystick or Dual Analog Controller to get the faithful arcade experience. Boyer professed it to be "one of my favorite arcade games".[3]


  1. ^ "Tricks of the Trade". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 99. Ziff Davis. October 1997. p. 62.
  2. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (August 5, 1997). "Namco Museum Volume 4 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Review Crew: Namco Museum Volume 4". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 96. Ziff Davis. July 1997. p. 54.

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