Visit Atarimax Store


Free-Net Logo
The Atari SIG Historical Archive
Created and hosted by: atarimax.com
[ HOME | GO ATARI | 8-BIT | ST/TT | PORTFOLIO | LYNX | JAGUAR | LIBRARY ]


 
   ________                   ________
  /        \_________________/      A \
 |         |o    L Y N X     |  B   ( )|
 |         |   ___________   |  ( )    |
 |    __   |[]/ _________ \[]|     ||| |
 | __|  |__|  ||         ||  |   ||||| |
 ||__    __|[]||         ||[]| ||||||| |
 |   |__|  |  ||_________||  |   ||||| |
 |         |[]\___________/[]|     ||| |
 |         |    /|\ Atari    |  ( )    |
 |         |_________________|  B   ( )|
 \\________/=================\______A_//
  \________/                 \________/
 
           About the Atari Lynx
 
 
 
 
 
 
 The Atari Lynx is noted for being the world's first color portable video
 game system.  It was first announced by Atari and Epyx at the Summer Consumer
 Electronics Show (CES) in June, 1989.  Atari Corp. purchased the rights to
 the Lynx from Epyx just before the show began.  The creators of the Lynx,
 RJ Mical and Dave Needle were years ahead of their time.  The next color
 portable with a price comparable to the Lynx was released two years later--
 the Game Gear.  The Game Gear, however, does not have the zoom, scaling, and
 scrolling abilities of the Lynx.  And the Game Gear also does not have the
 price.  The Lynx is selling at most places for just $30.00 more than the
 monochrome GameBoy--$79.99!
 
 The Lynx system can display 16 colors simultaneously out of a palette of
 4,096 colors in a resolution of 160x102 pixels.  The Lynx uses the 8-bit
 65C02 microprocessor with 16-bit address space.  It also uses a 16-bit
 graphics processor and a 32-bit sound processor at the speed of 16 MHz.
 The graphics processor chip, also called Suzie, allows for advanced graphics
 features found on no other portable.  This includes scaling, super zoom,
 and scrolling.  The Lynx has a powerful four channel sound chip or Mikey
 that provides for excellent music during game play.  It has 64k of RAM and
 is capable of handling game cards up to 16 megabits of information.  The
 Lynx's screen is a backlit 3.5 inch color LCD screen (largest of any
 portable).  The system measures 9.25" x 4.25" x 2" and weighs less than
 a pound.  It's control is an eight-way joypad, two fire buttons, and three
 option buttons that allow up to five different functions.  By pressing the
 "flip" button, the Lynx allows left handers to play as well as right handed
 game players.  A special sun shade snaps over its screen that allows a game
 player to play the Lynx even in the bright sunshine.  There are three jacks
 on the backside of the handheld.  One is for power (AC adaptor can be
 purchased for the Lynx), another is for headphones, and the last one is a
 comlynx port that can connect up to 16 Lynxs together.  The ability for the
 Lynx systems to connect and play multi-player games is probably its best
 feature.  No other portable game system on the market can use this feature
 to the extent that the Lynx can.  In fact, when the Lynx was first released,
 it was the only portable on the market that could connect with more than
 one other system.  With the right game cards, the Lynx jumps into another
 generation of video gaming--true multi-player games.  The Lynx allows each
 player to have a different perspective within the same game.  Since the
 Lynx was created with this purpose in mind, it may always lead in this area.
 The Lynx can be played without the AC adaptor by using 6 AA batteries that
 last a little over six hours.  A cigarette lighter plug and long-play power
 pack are also available for it.
 
 The Lynx is sold either in a package with batteries, comlynx cable, pouch,
 and the game card California Games at a suggested retail price of $129.99 or
 by itself for $99.99.  Some of the retailers that carry the Lynx sell the
 base unit for $79.99.
 
 In 1991, Atari announced a redesigned Lynx at the Winter Consumer Electronics
 Show.  This Lynx is lighter, smaller, and slicker looking than the original
 Lynx.  It has a slightly longer battery life and a screen that can be turned
 off when paused to conserve battery power.  The original Lynx shut itself off
 after 5 minutes of non-use, the new Lynx does not.  This is because the 5
 minute auto shut-off was a pain to both, the user and Atari.  The user could
 not stop playing the game for 5 minutes for fear it would be lost and Atari
 could not demonstrate the Lynx's graphics and sound abilities at toy stores.
 The new Lynx also has rubber grasps on the back of the system so it can be
 held better.  A power LED has been added (which blinks when battery power is
 low), and cartridges can be slipped in and out a little easier.  There is a
 special protective, magnifying screen over the LCD.  In the past, people have
 broken or scratched the original Lynx screen which is very hard to replace.
 Atari has made the new Lynx screen so it snaps off easily for replacement if
 necessary.
 
 The new Lynx also has stereo with panning when used with earphones.  The
 speaker has also been replaced with a smaller speaker that doesn't offer the
 volume as the original but still does an adequate job for all but the most
 noisy situations.  If the sound is still not adequate, small stereo speakers
 can be connected to it through the headphone port.  Atari's engineers also
 combined a few chips together so it would be less expensive for you to
 purchase.
 
 How does the Lynx compare to other systems?  Even though the Turbo-Express
 and Sega Game Gear have been released much later than the Lynx, the Lynx
 still seems to be the best deal.
 
 The Nintendo GameBoy costs $49.95.  Since you can purchase a Lynx for just
 a little more, there is no comparison.  The Lynx is in color.  The GameBoy
 is in monochrome.  The Lynx has arcade-like graphics, the GameBoy does not.
 The Lynx can comlynx with 8-players in some games, the GameBoy was not made
 for this.  The Lynx is very fast, the GameBoy is very slow.  Most GameBoy
 owners recommend a special magnifying light that places over the screen.
 This, however, costs as much as $30.00 more.
 
 The Sega Game Gear costs $99.95.  This price was most likely lowered
 in response to the Lynx's suggested retail price of $99.95.  But since most
 retailers sell the Lynx for a lot less, the Lynx is again the better choice.
 
 The Game Gear was released two years later than the Lynx.  The graphics and
 sound are nearly equal to that of the Lynx.  The screen is sharper but also
 smaller.  The graphics speed is 8 MHz compared to the Lynx's 16 MHz.  There
 are no special graphics features such as scaling.  The Game Gear's main
 advantage over the Lynx is Sega's strong developers support.  This will bring
 more games to the Game Gear.  However, most of these games are already on
 the Sega Genesis.  The Lynx has a huge lead in multi-player games and arcade
 game conversions.
 
 The Turbo-Express costs $199.95.  Even though it plays all Turbo-Graphix 16
 games, it costs $100 more than the Lynx.
 
 For the price, the Lynx is the overall best deal.  What is the main draw-back
 of the Lynx?  The lack of advertising and promotion of the Lynx by Atari
 Corporation making it difficult to find it at retail stores.  Many people
 are hoping this will change in the next few months.
 
 As of the end of 1993, the Lynx has close to 70 game cards available for it.
 Half of those are multi-player games.
 
 Expect to see these titles now:
 
 
 TAKEN FROM:  Lynx Frequently Asked Questions -- Maintained by Robert Jung.
 ==============================================================================
 
    Title              Stereo?  Players  Description
    -----------------  -------  -------  -----------------------------------
    A.P.B.               no        1     Patrol the city and look for felons
    Awesome Golf         no       1-4    Go for par on three 18-hole courses
    Baseball Heroes      no       1-2    The all-American sport for one or two
    Basketbrawl          no       1-2    Shoot hoops and slash opponents
    Batman Returns       no        1     The Dark Knight Returns again
    BattleWheels         yes      1-6    Car wars -- fast and furious!
    Block Out            no        1     Three-dimensional Tetris
    Blue Lightning       no        1     High-speed jet combat
    Bill & Ted's         no       1-2    A non-heinous adventure through time
      Excellent Adventure
    California Games     no       1-4(1) Harmless fun in the sun and sand
    Checkered Flag       yes      1-6    High-performance Indy auto racing
    Chip's Challenge     no        1     144 block-pushing puzzles
    Crystal Mines II     no        1     180 dirt-digging mining puzzles
 |  Desert Strike        no        1     Wage an Apache attack in the desert
    Dinolympics          no        1     Prehistoric puzzles with cavemen
    Dirty Larry:         yes       1     Blow away the punks and scum
      Renegade Cop
    Double Dragon        no       1-2    Fight the street thugs
    Dracula the Undead   no        1     Escape from the Count's castle
    Electrocop           no        1     3-D rescue adventure
    European Soccer      no       1-2    Enter the Tournament with 130 teams
      Challenge
    Fidelity Ultimate    no       1-2(2) Kings, queens, and pawns on the go
      Chess Challenge
    Gates of Zendocon    no        1     Side scrolling space shooter
    Gauntlet: The        no       1-4    Fight through dungeons for a gem
      Third Encounter
    Gordo 106            no        1     Help the lab monkey escape!
    Hard Drivin'         no        1     Stunt and speed driving simulator
    Hockey               no       1-2    Hot action on the cold ice
    Hydra                no        1     Pilot a flying boat over the seas
    Ishido: The Way of   no       1-n(4) Place colored tiles in matching sets
      the Stones
    Jimmy Connors Tennis no       1-4    Team tennis and Connors' comments
    Joust                no       1-2    Air warfare on the back of an ostrich
    Klax                 yes       1     Catch and position color tiles
    Kung Food            no        1     Bouts and routs in the refrigerator
    Lemmings             no        1     Save the little green haired rodents
    Lynx Casino          no       1-2    Try to beat the odds the safe way
    Ms. Pac-Man          no        1     Run the mazes and eat the dots
    NFL Football         no       1-2    Pigskin action with real teams
    Ninja Gaiden         no        1     Martial arts in the big city
    Pac-Land             no       1-2(2) Run and jump through Pac-Land
    Paperboy             no        1     Deliver newspapers to keep your job
    Pinball Jam          no        2     Two real-life pinballs on one card
    Pit-Fighter          no       1-2    Fight and brawl in underworld arenas
    Power Factor         no        1     Run and blast the Sinledo aliens
    Qix                  no       1-2(2) Draw lines and trap the helix
    Rampage              no       1-4    Ravage cities as a giant monster
    Rampart              no       1-2    Build a castle and defend it
    Road Blasters        yes       1     Auto racing with guns and rockets
    Robo-Squash          yes(3)   1-2    3D racquetball
    Robotron:2084        yes       1     Save the humans from robots
    Rygar                no        1     Run and battle beasts of the land
    Scrapyard Dog        no        1     Run and jump to rescue your pet
    Shadow of the Beast  no        1     Explore and fight the Beast Lord
    Shanghai             no       1-2    Remove all of the tiles
    Steel Talons         no        1     Helicopter combat flight simulator
    S.T.U.N. Runner      no        1     3-D tunnel warfare at 700mph
    Super Skweek         no       1-2    Paint tiles to save the day
    Switchblade II       no        1     Slash through Havok's forces of evil
    Todd's Adventures    no       1-8    Explore slimy caves for treasure
      in Slime World
    Toki                 no        1     A spitting monkey saves the day?
    Tournament           no       1-4    Futuristic robot football
      Cyberball 2072
    Turbo Sub            no       1-2(4) 3-D shooter in the sea and air
    Viking Child         no        1     Jump and fight to save your family
    Warbirds             no       1-4    WWI biplane flight/combat simulator
    World Class Soccer   no       1-2    Soccer with 100 international teams
    Xenophobe            yes      1-4    Destroy aliens in the space stations
    Xybots               no       1-2    Destroy robots in a 3-D maze
    Zarlor Mercenary     no       1-4    Shoot enemies for big bucks
 
 Footnotes:
    (1) Manual says 1-2 players, 1-4 is possible
    (2) Multiple players on one Lynx, alternating turns.
    (3) Stereo sound does not match game action.
    (4) Players can compare scores, but not interact directly
 
 
 Possible games in the future:
 
 TAKEN FROM:  Lynx Frequently Asked Questions -- Maintained by Robert Jung.
 ==============================================================================
 
    Title              Players  Description
    -----------------  -------  ------------------------------------------
    Aliens v. Predator    1?    Two mean monsters, head-to-head!
    Battlezone 2000      1-2    Update of the classic tank battle
    Blood & Guts Hockey  1-2    Hockey with the violence knob turned up
    Cabal                1-2    Shoot for your country and your freedom
    Cybervirus            1     Stop the berserk robots invading the base
    Daemonsgate           1?    Fantasy role-playing
    Defender/Stargate/    1?    The arcade classics from Williams
       Defender II
    Eye of the Beholder   1     First-person dungeon-exploring adventure
    Full Court Press     1-2    Fast action basketball
       Basketball
    The Guardians:
       Storms Over Doria 1-4    Large scale role playing-type game
    Heavyweight          1-2    First-person boxing action
       Contender
    Krazy Ace Minature   1-4    Putt for par against zany obstacles. Comes
       Golf                        with course construction kit
    Malibu Beach         1-2    Ball-bouncing fun on the beach
       Volleyball
    Mechtiles            1-4    Giant robots meet big guns
    Ninja Gaiden III:    1-2?   Sequel to the martial arts game
       Ancient Ship of Doom        (port from the Nintendo)
    Ninja Nerd            1     Time-travelling, nerds, and ninjas
    Operation Desert      1     The UN vs. Saddam!
       Storm
    R.C. Destruction     1-4    Radio-controlled car-blasting
       Derby
    Relief Pitcher       1-2    Realistic baseball action from the arcade
    Rai-Den              1-2    You vs. the aliens in a scrolling shooter
    Road Riot 4WD        1-2    Off-roading mania with a stun gun!
    Rolling Thunder       1     One agent against the evil empire
    720                   1     Skateboarding for fame and profit
    Spacewar             1-2?   Warfare in the final frontier
    Super Asteroids &     1?    Two updated classics on one game-card
       Missile Command
    Super Off-Road       1-4    Off-road racing on the Lynx
    Ultra Star Raiders    1?    Enhanced version of the computer classic
 |  Ultra Vortex         1-2    One-on-one fighting on the go
    Vindicators          1-2    Use your tank to destroy space stations
 
 ==============================================================================
 
 
 Updated: 01-12-94
 
 
 


Visit Atarimax Store