What's New With The Lynx?
Back in 1989, Atari released a system that has often been called, "the best portable system ever." It was originally called, "Handy", then the "Portable Computer Entertainment System" or PCES for short. It was finally renamed "Lynx" due to it's wonderful networking capabilities.
The Lynx truly was and is a great portable gaming system. A very high percentage of it's games were well received and reviewed. Some of the more outstanding titles are Blue Lightning, BattleWheels, European Soccer Challenge, RoadBlasters, and Awesome Golf, just to name a few.
The Lynx was released in two versions. Commonly called the "Lynx I" and the "Lynx II", the second version has several features the original did not, including a backlight turnoff and the ever exciting clips for a carrying strap.
Sadly, the Lynx's final games would be Super Asteroids/Missile Command and BattleZone 2000, two outstanding games. However, Atari had worked it's way into the console market with the Jaguar, which didn't leave much room for the great little portable unit.
After Atari had abandoned the Lynx, several hobby programmers began to write their own games for it. Bastian Schick has written and released a Tetris clone by the name of T-Tris as well as S.I.M.I.S., a collection of smaller games, with Mathias Domin. Harry Dodgson has released a version of Othello along with his Lynx Game Sharing System or LGSS, which allows multiple Lynxes to use 1 game game card for multiplay. Markus Wuhl released Sokomania, a Sokoban (or Boxxle) clone. Other recent homebrew titles include Push Around the World, Stardreamer, Lynx Sketch, and BattleSpace.
One of the most visible Lynx programmers of late has been Carl Forhan of Songbird Productions. Forhan has been very active acquiring the rights to publish several unreleased Beyond Games' title for the Lynx including Ultra Vortex (now called Ultravore and coded by Harry Dodgson), Cybervirus, and Mechtiles. The last two games being based on the BattleWheels engine. Of these, only Cybervirus has been released. Mechtiles is reportedly very lite on code and will probably never be completed.
In addition to the very welcome release of Cybervirus, Forhan has also acquired and released Cyrstal Mines II: Buried Treasure, a pseudo-sequel to the Color Dreams classic, and Lexis, a word matching game. Most recently, Loopz has been upgraded from a proto release to a full game.
Besides the acquisition of abandoned titles, Forhan has been seeking out and developing new software for the Lynx. Ponx is a Pong clone with several new features, SFX is a tool for creating new sound effects for the Lynx, and Remnantis a pseudo-3D outer space blast-fest. Championship Rally is an overhead car racing game and the CGE 5th Anniversary card is a showcase to the graphical might of the Lynx. Another hot title in production is Distant Lands, an RPG for the Lynx in the style of the abandoned Guardians: Storm over Doria.
Telegames has also been busy releasing Bubble Trouble, Fat Bobby, Hyperdrome, Krazy Ace Mini Golf, and Raiden. Games that were on the release list before Atari dropped the Lynx.
Some games are so enticing, they are even released unfinished! Take the following: Road Riot, Centipede, Daemon's Gate, and Alien vs Predator! Give credit to Video 61 and B&C ComputerVisions for making these protos available to game hungry Lynx fans!
Last but not least is the biggest announcement for the Lynx in years. Alpine Games! This Winter Games inspired game by famed Jaguar developer Duranik is far beyond that of a one person coded homebrew game! This beast is 4 megabits in size (512K), has 9 individual events, many unique graphical tricks, and includes a save feature! It was so well-liked, David Sherwin of The Atari Times gave it a 100% perfect score!
So is the Lynx dead? I would hardly think so! Just check out some of these games if you still believe there is no life left in this little kitty!