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Vindicators was a popular 1988 arcade game that was sold by Atari Games in the United States. 1988 was quite a year for Atari and tank games, since they also released Assault that very same year.

The game was pretty simple, you really just drove your tank around blasting at other tanks. There are fifteen levels in total, at the end of which you get to fight a big monster with many eyes. The graphics were done in an attractive top down manner, they still look good even today.

The game is controlled using dual up down handles with firing buttons. There are two sets of these installed on each Vindicators machine which allows for two people to play at the same time.

The Vindicators dedicated cabinet is a real favorite among some arcade game collectors. This is probably due to its unique shape, it is shaped a lot like a tank, with tank treads holding up the bottom section of the cabinet. The top half is decorated with sticker sideart that shows scenes from the game, and these same graphics generally carry over to the control panel and the front of the machine. The control panel features four tank handle controllers. No one makes those exact controls anymore, but functionally identical ones that look different are available. But replacement isn't really needed, as the only thing that wears out on these is the springs which are a standard size that you can get at the hardware store.

This title was later followed up by Vindicators Part II, which was more of an downgrade than a new game. This version was sold only as a conversion kit for Gauntlet, it only included 10 levels, and had some changes in the power up area. There were only 400 of these kits produced. I actually had NOS unapplied "Vindicators II" sideart at one point, but I gave it to WonkoDSane as a gift, not knowing that it went to an ungodly rare game (so don't toss it out).

This game is emulated perfectly by MAME, but you may have a hard time controlling it correctly, as you need a pair of joysticks to control this game properly, or a dual shock style controller. You can get a decent simulation of the original controls if your joypad has shoulder buttons to map the controls to, but that wasn't how the game was designed to be played.

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