Atari has a long history of iconic games but their handheld Lynx didn't have many good ones and you can play 17 of them on Evercade.
Where should I begin? How about with the sports games? First, Awesome Golf is anything but awesome because it doesn't have intuitive gameplay at all. You have to know which club to choose with no onscreen stats and the swing gauge isn't helpful so you just have to experiment and get a feel for how to play which isn't fun. Next, Basketbrawl is a funny little game where you hit other players while playing basketball. The thing is; it's incredibly simple and the graphics chug along at a very poor frame rate which makes it hard to enjoy. Lastly, both Jimmy Connors Tennis and Malibu Bikini Volleyball suffer from the same issue which is that being able to hit the ball is not intuitive so you have to learn how to time every serve, swing, and spike perfectly. It's a real struggle and not worth the effort.
List of games in Atari Lynx Collection 1
- Awesome Golf
- Crystal Mines II
- Dracula the Undead
- Gordo 106
- Ishido: The Way of Stones
- Jimmy Connors Tennis
- Malibu Bikini Volleyball
- MegaPak Vol. 1
- Power Factor
- Remnant Planar Wars
- Super Asteroids & Missile Command
- Scrapyard Dog
- Super Skweek
- Xump: The Final Run
I should discuss the best parts of this Evercade cartridge which are its puzzle games. My favourite one here is Loopz which I own on NES and it's pretty fun as you try to create loops by laying pieces down to form shapes. Meanwhile, Ishido: The Way of Stones has you place tiles in a specific way and once you learn how to play, it acts as a relaxing little puzzler. To be clear, neither of these 2 games is excellent; they're just passive entertainment. Anyway, Super Skweek is a puzzler where you try to paint the stage by walking over tiles and Xump: The Final Run has you run over collapsing bridges but playing both of these games is more frustrating than fun, especially the former's perplexing menus and control scheme. There's also a compilation called MegaPak Vol. 1 which contains extremely simplistic and pretty lame games with one of the games (Pontiac) seeming to be just a flashing pixelated photograph of a car. I don't get it.
If you love Atari as much as I do, you'll probably be intrigued by Super Asteroids & Missile Command. However, the original Asteroids is way more fun and Missile Command is basically the same game from the good old days. Another noteworthy revival is Crystal Mines II which may not be as fun as Dig Dug or Boulder Dash but it's pretty good if you like blasting away dirt and enemies as you mine for treasures. If you're up for a 2D action game, Scrapyard Dog has you control a boy who throws stuff at animal guards on his way to rescue his dog. Needless to say, it's annoying, especially because of the one-hit deaths. The other 2D platformer Gordo 106 is a very similar game except you control a monkey who jumps around and throws things; you'd think a monkey wouldn't jump as cumbersomely as it does.
Let's wrap this up by discussing some odds and ends. I should mention that a few of the included games were released in the modern age which is neat although you'd assume they'd be better. For example, CyberVirus is a first-person shooter where you blast baddies but doing so isn't all that challenging. Back to the old-school, Dracula the Undead is a point and click adventure game with absurdly clunky controls as you stumble around its game world. Power Factor has you control a dude with a huge gun who can fly with a jetpack. It's tricky to play but once you get in the groove, it can provide a bit of fun. Finally, Remnant Planar Wars is a simple-as-they-come space combat game where you scan your surroundings only to shoot down UFOs. There are much better similar games for sure.
Overall, Atari Lynx Collection 1 for Evercade is a real clunker that's filled with plenty of frustrating games. You may have a bit of fun here and there with a few of the included titles but not nearly as much as you would have hoped for.
- + Loopz and Ishido are okay puzzle games
- + Crystal Mines II is an alright sequel
- + Power Factor has pretty fun 2D action
- - Many of the games are nearly unplayable for a multitude of reasons
- - Even the playable games aren't that fun
- - A lot of annoying graphical issues