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Thread: Collecting for the Atari Lynx

  1. #1
    Pretzel (Level 4)
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    May 2004
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    Default Collecting for the Atari Lynx

    After placing a pre-order for the Analogue Pocket handheld console, I checked to see which handheld games other than Nintendo it would support with planned adapters. The Atari Lynx was one and that made look into the Lynx library. The Atari Lynx officially spanned from 1989 to 1995 and was the first LCD color handheld console. I am not a handheld gamer. I use reading glasses already and my eye's don't appreciate tiny screens. But a docked Analogue Pocket outputs handheld games to big screen TV's and the collector in me is always interested in the oddities found in handheld libraries. Strangely, Atari games seem like the red headed step children of my gaming library. I don't know why that is, but Atari games play odd to me and that alone is often worth having just for the experience.

    When taking on a new retro collection, I've come to expect the worst with low availability and high prices. But Atari Lynx collecting was an experience I won't forget. I recently finished an Lynx collection in just 3 weeks. 2 weeks if I don't count the week I spent deciding what games in the Lynx library I wanted in my collection. In the span of 2 paydays I bought 49 of the 71 (number in dispute) official Atari Lynx games, 40 of which were brand new sealed with hanging tabs. I also bought 6 brand new Atari Lynx homebrew games of the 30 or so (number also in dispute) available. Prices for new Atari Lynx games started at $14.99. Homebrew games averaged between 49.99 and 69.99 and were the most expensive Lynx games I bought. As a long time importer, I didn't hesitate looking overseas for the best prices.

    It's not at all unusual for a collector to piece together a game, buying the box, manual and cart separately to save a little money. Xenophobe was the only Lynx game I found worth doing that for. Finally, no collection in my home is complete without a beautiful boxed console to have on display and I chose the Model II version. I don't expect to use it, but when nostalgic company visits, they invariable want to play on the real hardware.

    As someone who got into collecting Gameboy and Gameboy Color games very late in the game, it was sadly not at all unusual finding complete games in the hundreds and even thousands of dollars each. In comparison, Lynx collecting was the fastest and easiest collecting I've ever done. Still, many people today are annoyed at the thought of purchasing a physical game and prefer free ROM's. Because they are historical archivists! In that case they might prefer Stone Age Gamer's Lynx flashcart for "those who dream of having the whole library of Lynx games on one cart". Stone Age Gamer does disclaim piracy.

    Another option are the Lynx Collection Cartridge's 1 & 2, comprising of 25 licensed games for the Evercade handheld console. Though emulated and not the real thing, they do come with a case and instructions and are certainly less ghetto than a flashcart.

    My recommendation is to just get the real thing. It's fun, cheap and easy to do! Something rare indeed in game collecting.

  2. #2
    Pac-Man (Level 10)
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    I have a bunch of Lynx games as well as the Lynx II. I'm not a fan of the bulky hardware or the poor screen. Would I rather play on the Analogue Pocket? I don't know probablt. There's something to be said for playing on original hardware but in the Lynx's case, I'd probably rather go the route of playing on the Pocket adapter thing.

    I do have some doubles if anyone is interested in trading or purchasing
    Join me for chess @, username: paulmccabe3

  3. #3
    Great Puma (Level 12) Steve W's Avatar
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    There is a screen upgrade kit to give the Lynx a modern, active matrix LCD screen. I bought a battered old Model 1 to do the upgrade on but I never got around to ordering it since my technical skill in soldering and hardware repair is pretty lax.

    A lot of the Lynx's library are arcade ports from Atari Games (Bally/Midway). And they're all pretty high quality. My first portable was the Atari Lynx, and I loved the damn thing. My co-worker was an out of work cargo plane pilot at the time, and I brought two Lynx units with a Comlynx cable and two copies of Warbirds, and we'd gun each other down during our lunch breaks. Great times. I've probably got four Lynx units now and the majority of the library (but not homebrews). It ranks very high on my list of favorite game machines.

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