5 of our top Atari Lynx games on Evercade
The Evercade platform plays host to a huge number of games now — and with each new cartridge release, more titles are added to the library!
We know that sometimes it can be a bit daunting to be confronted with such a vast number of games to play, so every so often we’ll be highlighting 5 of our favourite titles in various different categories.
With Atari, one of the original names in video gaming, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, we thought it high time that we picked out some of our favourite games from one of the company’s most underappreciated platforms: the handheld Atari Lynx.
At the time of writing, we have two Atari Lynx Collection cartridges available for Evercade. They collect together some of the finest games on the platform, both from its short-lived heyday in the early ’90s, and from developers who decided to continue working on it well after its original release. In the case of those games that were available back in the day, the Evercade versions marked the first officially licensed rereleases of these titles since their original time on store shelves!
With its powerful 16-bit hardware and impressive capabilities, including hardware scaling similar to that found in arcade machines of the period, the Atari Lynx was well ahead of its time and remains a ton of fun to explore today. So let’s take a look at 5 of our top Atari Lynx games on Evercade!
Crystal Mines II: Buried Treasure
Crystal Mines II was originally developed by Ken Beckett and released for Atari Lynx in 1992. It’s an action-puzzle game in which you control a robot who explores a series of mines in search of precious gems.
Unlike many other similar “digging” games from the 8- and 16-bit era, Crystal Mines II allows you to dig out dirt from afar and battle directly against enemies using your robot’s blaster. This gives it a familiar but distinctive feel, even for veterans of the genre.
The original release of Crystal Mines II features 181 levels: 150 main stages and 31 bonus levels. In 2003, new rights holder Songbird Productions released a follow-up version of the game including not only the original 181 levels, but also 125 brand new ones. It’s this enhanced and expanded version that you’ll find on the Atari Lynx Collection 1 cartridge for Evercade!
Ishido: The Way of Stones
Ishido: The Way of Stones was first released in 1990 for home computers. Its original release came in the form of a limited edition housed in a walnut slip box. The price? $495 in 1990, which equates to over a thousand dollars today, accounting for inflation! Thankfully, it subsequently enjoyed a mass-market release for a variety of platforms, with an Atari Lynx version showing up in 1991.
Rather amusingly, Ishido: The Way of Stones attempted to position itself as an authentic puzzle game from the far east of Asia, even going so far as to include a booklet about the supposed “legend” behind the game — but this background was completely fictitious; the game was actually designed by a chap named Michael Feinberg.
Ishido: The Way of Stones is one of those puzzle games that is easy to learn but hard to master. Your objective is simple: lay down 72 stones on a board of 96 squares and attempt to score as many points as possible. Adjacent stones must match by either colour or symbol — and where multiple stones are adjacent, things can get quite complicated! You can try it for yourself as part of the Atari Lynx Collection 1 for Evercade.
Super Asteroids/Missile Command
Offering two games in a single package, Super Asteroids/Missile Command was first released for Atari Lynx in 1995, and was the last title to be officially, commercially released for the platform during its period of official support by Atari. As the title suggests, the package features modernised versions of the Atari classic arcade games Asteroids and Missile Command; rather that simply emulating the original arcade versions, these are versions specifically designed for the Atari Lynx.
Super Asteroids features a ship that can take multiple hits from asteroids rather than suffering the one-hit kills of the original. There are also power-ups to collect, which allow you to enjoy more powerful shots or replenish your shields. Like the original game, the difficulty gradually escalates as you successfully clear levels, and the ultimate aim is simply to achieve a high score.
Super Missile Command has undergone the most significant revamp out of the two games. Unlike the arcade original, you can earn in-game cash to spend on weaponry during the intermissions between stages. These include upgrades to your basic missiles and limited-ammunition emergency weapons to use in a real pinch.
You can enjoy both these fun twists on arcade classics as part of the Atari Lynx Collection 1 cartridge for Evercade.
Originally published in 1989, Chip’s Challenge is a world-famous puzzle game that actually began its life on the Atari Lynx as part of the system’s launch lineup. The game was developed in just ten weeks prior to the Lynx’s launch, making it all the more impressive that it came out as such an enjoyable, interesting game — and one that enjoyed ports to a wide variety of home computer platforms.
Chip’s Challenge is simple in concept: all you have to do is find all the chips on a level and then make it to the exit. The genius of the game is in how it makes incredibly creative use of its various mechanics to create absolutely fiendish puzzles from its levels. You’ll often find yourself having to think very carefully about which order you perform your various actions in, and in some stages good reflexes are just as important as logical thinking.
With 148 levels to challenge, Chip’s Challenge will keep you busy for quite some time. You can enjoy it for yourself as part of the Atari Lynx Collection 2 cartridge for Evercade.
An incredible example of the Atari Lynx’s capabilities from a time before free-roaming 3D environments were common in games, Electrocop stunned gamers on its initial 1989 release alongside the launch of the platform. Casting players in the role of the titular robotic law enforcement officer, the game involves exploring various complexes from a third-person perspective, hacking computers to unlock doors and defeating enemies using a selection of weapons.
Electrocop’s 3D environments are created using the Atari Lynx’s hardware scaling abilities, with the complex’s walls being represented by sprites that grow and shrink according to your “distance” from them. Unlike modern 3D games, you can’t turn your perspective from side to side, so the game is an interesting blend between traditional side-scrolling 2D action and its 3D element where you can go “into” the screen.
With a catchy soundtrack, impressive visuals and a solid sci-fi atmosphere, Electrocop is a challenging adventure that it’s worth taking some time to get stuck into. You can join the action with the Atari Lynx Collection 2 cartridge for Evercade.
So that’s 5 of our top Atari Lynx games on Evercade — now it’s over to you! What are your favourite Atari Lynx games on Evercade? Stop by on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or Discord and come tell us all about your top picks!
With over 260 games available