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Tail Gunner Tail Gunner - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Tail Gunner - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


You are the Tailgunner of a large starship shooting at fighters closing in on the ship from the rear. The fighters can be blocked with the use of a shield. When ten fighters have passed, the game ends.

Tail Gunner was produced by Cinematronics in 1979.

Cinematronics released 33 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1976. Cinematronics was based in United States.

Other machines made by Cinematronics during the time period Tail Gunner was produced include: Space Wars, Starhawk, Embargo, Flipper Ball, Sundance, Armor Attack, Rip Off, Star Castle, and Boxing Bugs


Name Tail Gunner
Developer Cinematronics (United States)
Year 1979
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 10012
Class Wide Release
Genre Space
  • Orientation: Horizontal
  • Type: Vector
  • Color: Black and White with a Color Overlay
Conversion Class Cinematronics B&W Vector
# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 1
Game Play Single
Control Panel Layout Single Player Ambidextrous
  • Joystick: Analog
  • Buttons: 2 - Fire|Shield
Sound Amplified Mono (one channel)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
Control Panel Tail Gunner Control Panel Image

Game Play

The player views space as though looking out from the rear of a spaceship. Waves of enemies approach from the distance and they must be destroyed before they reach the player's ship.

The wave format is similar to the behavior of the pirate tanks in Rip Off, in that the first few waves have only two slow moving ships, but later waves have three which move faster and more erratically with each successive wave. The player has three Shield charges which are used to bounce the approaching enemies away from the player's ship if they get too close.

Tail Gunner KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 4.01 (3 votes)

Fun Factor: 3.92

Overall Like 4.33
Fun (Social) 0.33
Fun (Solo) 2.33
Collector Desire 4.33

Technical Rating: 4.08

Gameplay 4.67
Graphics 4.00
Originality 4.33
Sound/Music 3.33

Personal Impressions and Technical Impressions each account for half of the total score. Within the Personal Impressions category, Like carries a little more weight than the other factors.

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Cabinet Information

This game was released in both standup and cockpitstyle cabinets.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Tail Gunner Census

There are 14,912 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,533 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 165,213 machines (6,929 unique titles).

Common - There are 21 known instances of this machine owned by Tail Gunner collectors who are active members. Of these, 18 of them are original dedicated machines. 3 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There is one active VAPS member with a Tail Gunner machine for sale.

Wanted - Popular - There are 14 active VAPS members currently looking for Tail Gunner.

This game ranks a 6 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 25 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census want list records.

Rarity and Popularity independently are not necessarily indications of value. [More Information]



  1. Tail Gunner
  2. Tail Gunner II


Foto-Finder® (Books)

  1. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 70; Color photo Price guide: No
  2. Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 70; Color photo

eBay Listings

Click to search eBay for Tail Gunner Videogame machines and related items.

Click to search eBay for Cinematronics for machines and parts.

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Ebay Compatible Application

Tail Gunner 2 Magazine Trade AD Retro Gaming Vintage 1980 Cockpit Sit Down

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Exidy Tail Gunner 2 Video Arcade Game Instruction Manual

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Tail Gunner CinemaTronics Arcade Video Game Manual

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1980 Exidy TAIL GUNNER 2 video game operator's manual

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Tail Gunner Flyer by Cinematronics

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