Review by Azrael_2

Reviewed: 08/03/11

This was never much good, and it's aged badly.

The Atari Lynx was a good idea. Unfortunately, a good idea doesn't translate to a good product.

I have no idea if it changed markedly from it's initial development to production, but here are the flaws I'll point out.

The screens pixel density Yes it has a colour screen, but what's the point when the pixel density is so low? Even for the time this was really quite poor, you can spot individual pixels without even looking closely. Which means, because it's a handheld and you hold it right in front of you, it's glaringly obvious.

Woohoo! It's backlit! and you can turn off the backlight to save battery! Fact: you can't see a damn thing without the backlight. In any kind of light.

It's massive It's the biggest portable I've ever seen, and I own a Nomad and a PC Engine GT. It's the 1989 portable version of an Xbox. In fact, if someone broke ito my home, I'd seriously consider arming myself with it. I carry a backpack with me, and it leaves precious little space for anything else in there.

The button layout is terrible, and the controls aren't good enough In trying to make it friendly for left and right handed players, the button placement, while aesthetically pleasing, is ergonomically slightly uncomfortable. Adding to that, while the controls aren't terrible, they're not nearly good enough when they're built into the system, as with all portables. The D pad and buttons are sligthly too big, and give an unsatisfying smoosh. The D-pad also has too much sideways give.

There was hardly any support There are about 80 games for the system, which is not a great deal. I've heard a common argument that the ratio of good games is quite high - however:

The games all suck I don't know why people are praising these games. Even if they are doing something technically impressive, they're never fun. Not like playing Zelda or Mega Man on the Gameboy. The only thing similar I can think of that would be less fun, are those early LCD games, and actually, thinking further, some of those weren't too bad. The controls aren't particularly responsive, sure. But even the highly rated conversion of Ninja Gaiden (which I was really looking forward to, as the Spectrum version, Shadow Warriors, was my favorite game for the system) is pretty daft. It's repetative and dull, you're a tiny big-headed ninja who performs the same bizzare movements again and again in front of enemies to knock them down 3 times each.

I'm giving it a 3, because ... well actually, that's generous. I'm tempted for a 2, but there's nothing fundementally flawed in it - it's just that the every part of it is not very good. Good god... if you locked me in a room with nothing but an Atari Lynx and an endless supply of batteries, I'd probably use it to bludgeon myself to death before I completed a single game.

I wanted to like the Lynx, but I don't. Compared to every other system of the time, it comes up woefully short.

Rating: 3

Product Release: Lynx II Hardware (US, 12/31/91)

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