The underappreciated and under-discussed Atari Lynx was one of those handheld systems I never owned in real-time, never knew anyone that owned one, and never really felt compelled to play for myself when it was released. I completely missed out, but did I? Is this a system worth collecting for to play? That was the question I asked myself when I pulled the Lynx, AC adapter, and games out of storage for a good old-fashioned revisiting.
I last wrote about my Atari Lynx collection back in 2017 here and in my final thoughts post. Then I realized I hadn’t bought any new games for my Lynx since I bought the system back in the early 2000s. Considering I only owned ten titles, none of which I felt highlighted the best of what the system had to offer, it was time to check out some new games.
After doing some research on standout Lynx titles, I discovered that there are some well-reviewed games out there that I can add to my collection without breaking the bank. These are games with recognizable names such as Rygar, Paperboy, Checkered Flag, and Raiden. It doesn’t appear as if the collecting bug has hit the Lynx as it has for all Nintendo and Sega consoles and handhelds. That made adding a few games relatively easy over the past couple of months—no bidding wars on small stock to inflate prices.
Rygar, Paperboy, and a game I had never heard of before, Toki, were the recent additions to my Lynx collection. The Lynx Rygar port plays similarly to the arcade version. However, if you’re familiar with the NES port, it isn’t too far removed from that either. It’s a side-scrolling action title for a system with a shortage of them. Why not add a second side-scroller then while I’m at it?
That’s where Toki comes in. I added this game to my collection solely based on a few online reviews I could find. In this game, you control a human turned into an ape trying to rescue your girlfriend from an evil wizard – not exactly a unique plot for a video game. Thanks to Toki’s unique ability to shoot at enemies using his mouth, the game feels a bit like a run and gun title. While not wildly original, Toki is easy to pick up and play platformer that looks and controls well. Overall a solid addition.
Finally, I added one of my favorite arcade titles from back in the day, Paperboy. I wrote an entire article/review on the arcade version of Paperboy for a website that no longer exists, so I must have an affinity for this game. Maybe it’s because I was a paperboy as a pre-teen, but more likely, I enjoyed the unique handlebar controller and the relatable gameplay. The NES version was always a massive disappointment to me, but the Lynx version is one I can get behind. Somehow the visuals are better, and the gameplay feels more like the arcade version. I’m not exactly sure how they pulled that off, but I’m happy that I now own a home version of Paperboy that I enjoy playing.
I can’t honestly say how many more Lynx games I’ll pick up over the next few years. After picking up my initial haul, it took me 20 years to add three new games to my collection. It’s reasonably apparent that the Lynx, while technologically superior to the Gameboy, is not a handheld I cherish from a nostalgia perspective. Maybe I should continue to buy more before the prices get ridiculously high. Then again, perhaps they never will.