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33 Consoles of Christmas
Atari Lynx (1989)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 30, 2006   |   Episode 8 (Show Archive)  

It's time once again for Defunct Games' 33 Consoles of Christmas, your 33 part guide to the best and worst system designs of all time. Join Cyril Lachel and Chad Reinhardt as they judge 33 different game consoles based on what they think of the look. Forget about actual hardware and software, the only thing these guys care about is talking about their exterior design. Join us every day between November 23 and December 25 for a new console review!

Synopsis: In the world of black and white portable game systems, the Atari Lynx was one of the first to do color. The Lynx was best known for its large colorful screen, a screen that played a lot of games that were much more advanced than anything we had seen on Nintendo's Game Boy. Through its life the Lynx had two different models, one that was extremely long (11 inches) and one that was a bit smaller and more attractive (9 inches). The Lynx was also the first portable to break the one-on-one barrier, allowing you to hook it up to several other Lynx units at once. The Lynx would never sell as many consoles as the Game Boy, but in its short life it managed to sell through a respectable two million units.

Best Games: Robotron: 2084, Blue Lightning, Dracula and Ninja Gaiden!

You will never forget the first time you see the Atari Lynx. Much like the first time you witness a deadly car accident or your parents having sex, seeing the Lynx for the first time can be a horrific experience. If the only handheld you had ever seen was the Game Boy, then the Lynx was going to give you nightmares for the rest of your childhood. The biggest problem was the system's length. Let's not beat around the bush here, this system is long. It's very, very long. It's so long that hospitals use it to medevac soldiers from the front lines. I've seen people surfing on the system it's so long. I've seen dogs smaller than this console. When Atari called it a "portable" you could only imagine that they were using the word in the loosest sense. If you have been looking for the right portable game system to use in a bar fight, then the Atari Lynx is the right system for you.

The Atari Lynx is the ten-gallon hat of video game handhelds. It's so much longer than other systems, which is cool ... I think? The button scheme is also a little uncomfortable, having positioned that speaker where the buttons probably should have gone. The elongated first version was later replaced with Mark Zwei, which looks less impressive to me with its lighter color and bigger monitor. They also phased out the strawberry scent I think the system originally had, but that have been from leaving my Lynx lying next to my Strawberry Shortcake's too long. In short, the system was basically a step up from the Gameboy, but not as good as the Game Gear, and the system's look reflects that perfectly.


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