As the name suggests, this game brings to the personal computer one of the earliest concepts to appear on arcade and dedicated console game screens: a tank duel. Players look down on a battlefield of two-dimensional obstacles and maneuver their tanks to shoot and destroy each other. Each tank has nine points of armor, allowing eight hits before the final shot destroys the tank and hands victory to the opposing player.
The tanks start each game in heavy bunkers, so the first challenge is to move out safely away from the enemy line-of-fire. Plentiful obstacles and the tanks' moderate speed means play is as much a tactical challenge as one for the reflexes. Speed on the trigger can be very important, though, because when hit a tank is relocated randomly and any shell in mid-flight disappears. In a face-off this means whichever shell lands first wins. The trigger finger must be tempered, however, as each tank can only have one shot on the screen at a time. Over-anticipating your opponent can lead to reloading at the most inopportune moment.
Different platforms provide very different play, from keyboard to joystick, color to black-and-white, as well as battlefield variations. On TRS-80's, the battlefield is fixed from game to game and obstacles cannot be destroyed. In all cases, a solitaire version is provided, putting the computer in control of one of the tanks. Its reflexes are very quick.