On the eve of the Atari Lynx’s 32nd birthday, retro game enthusiasts have released four new physical games for the handheld. The games Raid on TriCity – Second Wave, Asteroid Chasers, Cyber Virus – Lost Missions and Unnamed are available as cartridges.
If there’s a handheld that many gamers wouldn’t expect games to come out for, it’s the Atari Lynx. The game console was released in North America on September 1, 1989, appeared in Europe in 1990, and was retired in 1995. About a hundred games have been published for it in that time.
Lynx fans Frédéric Descharmes and indie developer Songbird Studios are now releasing four new games on physical cartridges for the Atari handheld. The makers spoke about this with Engadget. The games are the work of fans who come together on the AtariAge website.
Two of the games come from the hand of Frédéric Descharmes, known on that site as Fadest. He already made several puzzle games for the Lynx, but most of them came out as downloadable ROMs. He has released his most recent games on a physical cartridge. Raid on TriCity is a derivative of Tetris, with shoot-‘m-up elements. The cubes that come down, the player has to shoot to fit into a hole.
His second title, Asteroid Chasers, is a tactical tile-placing game where the player has to mine asteroids without dying. The game resembles a retro space shooter, but is actually more like a card game, where each turn the player gets an item that influences the course of the game.
The other games are made by Songbird Productions. This studio often releases unique and home-made games. For example, founder Carl Forhan brought several old Lynx titles that seemed to have been lost back to life. One of those titles is CyberVirus, a first-person space shooter that was originally supposed to be released as a demo in 1993. Forhan had to recreate lost missions, re-engineer the entire health and power-up system, and added features to make the game more playable, he tells Engadget.
Songbird Productions also made the puzzle adventure platformer Unnamed. In it, the player plays a character who no longer knows who he is and where he is. The character must escape from a maze while learning more and more about the environment in which he finds himself.
Homebrew game makers often make games for old handhelds and consoles. The aforementioned makers have also released games for the Lynx before, but usually those games come out as ROMs instead of physical cartridges. The games also have an Eeprom in that cartridge to be able to save save games. In short, if you still have an old Lynx lying in the attic somewhere, now is the time to dust it off.