Monday, 24 February 2020

Atari Lynx A-Z

Developed years earlier by former Amiga designers who by then worked for American developer Epyx, the 16-bit Lynx was much more powerful than Nintendo's Game Boy, but that extra power and its colour screen came at a cost. It has some corking games though, and this listing will include all official releases. This is one of four parts and features all games beginning with letters O through R:

Pac-Land by Atari (1991)

Namco's pill-popping yellow pie-chart has received many sequels to his 1980 classic, and this is probably the best-loved of them all. Giving him arms and legs (and a hat) was a no-brainer and the platformer that he was given to run and jump through was a cracker. Happily, this Lynx version is nearly as good too.

Paperboy by Al Baker & Associates / Atari (1990)

It was certainly getting on a bit by the time the Lynx arrived but perhaps Paperboy was the type of game it would benefit from? The graphics aren't quite as crisp as they could've been and the collision-detection is a little ropey but it's still a pretty appealing game to play. Will probably get a bit repetitive though.

Pinball Jam by Atari (1992)

Unlike most pinball games, this Lynx exclusive was actually a conversion of a real pintable - Elvira and the Party Monsters - although it does include another table as well, also a conversion of a real machine called Police Force. Ball movement is rather slow and a bit unrealistic but both tables are pretty good fun.

Pit-Fighter by Al Baker & Associates / Atari (1992)

This is one of those games that seemed very cool when it was new but it didn't take long for players to realise it's actually a bit whiffy. This conversion isn't the worst in the world but the button-stabbing brawling was never particularly enjoyable and the action quickly gets boring. I guess the Lynx has few alternatives though.

Power Factor by Hand Made Software / Atari (1993)

What the Lynx really needed to stand out was eye-catching original releases and this was definitely one of those. It's a sci-fi-themed side-scrolling platform/shooter set over eleven mazey stages, and it's pretty great! The action is viewed from a pretty zoomed-in perspective though, which can make the going tough.

Qix by Knight Technologies / Telegames (1991)

Originally a Taito arcade game released way back in 1981, this puzzler is the type of game that's perfectly suited to a handheld. The idea is to draw or 'fence off' sections of the playfield to claim a set percentage of it - simple, challenging, and addictive. It can be a bit frustrating too though!

Raiden by BlueSky Software / Telegames (1997)

It was a surprise to find this hardcore shooter released for the Lynx years after support for it had ended but it's not a bad effort, all things considered. It's a vertical shooter (screenshot is flipped) and is played with your Lynx turned sideways which takes a bit of getting used to. It has never been a very common title though.

Rampage by Atari (1990)

There's never a bad time to smash up stuff and eat people and conversions of this Midway arcade hit have always offered a highly entertaining means of doing so. This Lynx version is surely one of the best too - the smashing action is still great fun and there's even an extra fourth character - Larry, a giant Rat.

Rampart by Atari (1992)

Strategy games scare me but this has always been one of the more accessible examples. It puts you in command of several coastal castles which you must defend from armadas of attacking ships by shooting them with cannons. It's a bit more complicated than that, of course, but it works well and this is a good version.

Roadblasters by Atari (1990)

Could this be the original driving/shooting game? It certainly must've been the first popular example. I loved it in my youth but it is rather showing its age now. This is, nonetheless, a pretty decent version whose many stages should keep you occupied for plenty of toilet visits. The audio/visuals are pretty flashy too.

Road Riot 4WD by Images Software (2003)

This conversion of Atari's 1991 arcade game came long after the Lynx had been laid to rest but it's actually not bad. The courses are appropriately bumpy for the type of vehicles which are rather bouncy and flippy, and while the controls could be improved, it's still pretty good fun. A welcome latecomer.

Robo-Squash by NuFX / Atari (1990)

This original Lynx title has a slightly unnecessary backstory but it doesn't really matter as it's a simple and slightly strange bat 'n' ball/tennis type game! It's played from an into-the-screen perspective and gives you a transparent paddle with which to destroy the all blocks on each stage. Addictive and good fun. (full review here)

Robotron 2084 by Shadowsoft / Williams (1991)

Every system in existence should have a Robotron game, and most of them do including the Lynx! Veterans of the twin-stick Williams arcade original may struggle a bit with the reworked controls but the look and feel has been captured here well making this a more than passable version of an all-time great.

Rygar by NuFX / Atari (1990)

Another conversion of an older-but-fairly-popular coin-op for the Lynx here, but it's not a bad one. It's a fantasy-themed game originally released by Tecmo back in 1986 and is pretty simple, but the platform/combat action is well-implemented and enjoyable, there are lots of stages, and the graphics are nice and colourful.



  1. Reference Rampage, it would have been awesome to have a screengrab of Larry! Is it right to say Larry is not in any other version?

    1. I believe that's correct. Good idea ref the screenshot, I'll remember next time I feature this version of the game :)

  2. Hey Si, hope you're keeping safe and well through all this current madness :)

    1. Hey man, sorry for late reply, I haven't been here much lately. I'm okay for the most part thanks, I quite enjoy staying at home actually. I have to anyway I'm in a high-risk group regarding the virus. Hope you're doing okay too?

    2. Good to know! I'm taking to it all surprisingly well too - obviously been used to staying indoors a lot, but not having the option to go out if I really want to is a bit of a bummer.

      Never been so sociable in my life though, I'm talking to people on the phone and on Skype every day!

    3. Haha, so you've discovered a social side you never knew you had? :P I've barely spoken to anyone apart from my wife, parents, and sister, but that's okay as I don't really anyway :)