For a certain period during the Lynx’s lifetime, Atari eschewed booklet-style manuals in favour of posters for the games with the instructions on the back. My wife liked the art on Checkered Flag’s instructions sheet — which I somehow still had despite having not owned a Lynx for a good ten years or so — and so we put it up on the wall. Consequently, every time I’m having a poo I get to read those instructions for the umpteenth time.
Believe me, I am now intimately familiar with how to play Checkered Flag effectively — helpful now that it’s been rereleased as part of the Atari Lynx Collection 2 cartridge for the Evercade — and the fact that, in Atari’s own words, the winner of each race is rewarded with “a trophy and a big hug”. And, in a surprisingly progressive, inclusive step for a video game on a failed console from 1991, the manual also takes care to note that said big hug is “where the driver’s gender becomes important”. Oh, also there’s some racing game action in there, too, I suppose; let’s take a closer look.
Dear old Atari. They captured lightning in a bottle in the early days of video games with the 2600, then struggled to recreate that sort of success ever again. It certainly wasn’t through lack of trying on the tech front, though.
The Atari Lynx was one of their more impressive efforts, providing the first 16-bit handheld gaming platform with a backlit colour screen, hardware scaling and distortion. It even had a decent selection of games for it, but as was always the case with post-2600 Atari, its marketing was a complete disaster and as such the system remains largely forgotten by most gaming enthusiasts today.
Except for the folks behind the Evercade, of course, who have brought us not one but two collections of Atari Lynx titles for the diminutive retro gaming platform. So let’s take a look at one of the games from the Atari Lynx Collection 1 cartridge and see whether or not these forgotten titles have anything to offer to the modern gamer!
One of the things that excited me about the Evercade pretty much from the moment it was announced was the fact that a number of Atari Lynx games would be coming to the system.
The Atari Lynx, one of Atari’s numerous failed experiments in the ’90s, played host to a variety of interesting and genuinely unique games — most of them simply weren’t available on any other platform. The release of the two Atari Lynx Collection cartridges for the Evercade marks the first time many of these games have been widely available for a very long time!
Over the course of the last few years, retro gaming devices of various descriptions have become very popular.
Until now, these have tended to fall into one of two categories: emulation boxes that you can load up with your own collection of ROMs and enjoy to your heart’s content, or pre-curated systems with fixed libraries of games.
Evercade is different. Evercade provides a curated library of officially licensed cartridges that are distributed as packaged, physical products separately from the system itself. And somehow manufacturer Blaze managed to successfully launch this exciting new product in the midst of a world gone absolutely mad. So let’s take a first look at the system!