Lynx Reviews Q-R

Qix
Grade: C
Publisher: Telegames (1990)
Reviewed: 2005/1/17

screenshotI am not one to be trifled with when it comes to Qix. I played this oldie in the arcades, on my first home computer, and on several consoles over the years. I appreciate the beauty of its simplicity and understand various strategies used to beat it. There's never been another game like Qix. Playing it involves guiding a little diamond around an empty screen, sectioning off areas while avoiding a roaming, twisting set of colored lines called the "helix".

This miniature edition captures the same risk-taking gameplay as the original, but it's less exciting. The helix is more predictable and appears to be moving in slow motion. Like the arcade, you can employ a fast or slow "draw" to section areas, slow being riskier but worth more points.

Unlike the arcade game however, areas cordoned off with slow draw look the same as those made with the fast draw (they should be a different color). Qix's audio is above average. The sound of the helix brings to mind a swinging lightsaber, and melodic tunes play between stages. Good, but not quite up to arcade standards, Qix is an average title for the Lynx. © Copyright 2005 The Video Game Critic.

Our high score: 43926
1 player 

Raiden
Grade: A
Publisher: Telegames (1990)
Reviewed: 2004/2/26

screenshotIt's hard to imagine a better shooter for the Lynx than Raiden. This intense, vertically-scrolling arcade adaptation features massive firepower and well-defined graphics. You'll need to turn your Lynx on its side to play Raiden, but once you start playing, you'll agree that this makes a lot of sense.

You ship can move around freely, and the screen scrolls slightly from side to side. You can shoot missiles and drop bombs, but unlike other versions of Raiden, there's no differentiation between ground and air targets. Enemy missiles are easy to see, and the frame rate keeps up with the action very well.

You'll encounter helicopters, tanks, and some huge airships. Ample power-ups allow you to spray the screen with missiles, but the game is still quite challenging. Attractive background scenery features nicely shadowed but generic-looking buildings. Raiden provides unlimited continues. This is one fantastic shooter for the Lynx that collector's should take notice of. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.

Our high score: 34850
1 player 

Rampart
Grade: B+
Publisher: Tengen (1991)
Reviewed: 2006/11/27

screenshotIt took me a while to get the hang of Rampart, and at one point I was tempted to just say the hell with it. It's not the "pick up and play" experience you normally look for on a portable system, and I was not keen on cracking open that thick-ass instruction manual! Repeated plays are required to get a feel for the rules and strategy, but if you stick with it, Rampart turns out to be a fun little game with surprising depth.

Played from an overhead view, you construct a castle on the edge of a harbor, blasting wave after wave of attacking ships. The game is played in short phases, beginning with a brief construction phase. The battles are an exercise in target shooting, as you move a cursor over ships and unleash a bombardment of cannonballs. Once your ammo runs out, the action pauses so you can "rebuild" your damaged fortress.

Using simple Tetris-style shapes, you try to fill in the gaps, and it's even possible to expand its original boundaries. This rebuilding phase requires quick thinking, and it's definitely the best part of the game. Rampart offers two difficulty levels (beginner or veteran), and there's a high score screen to track your progress. If you're a Lynx fan looking for a thoughtful gaming experience, Rampart is a rock solid choice. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.

Recommended variation: vet
Our high score: 8273
1 player 

Robo Squash
Grade: D-
Publisher: Atari (1990)
Reviewed: 2008/6/11


screenshotWhile original in concept and nicely programmed, Robo Squash comes up well short on the VGC fun-o-meter. The game is played like Pong from a first-person point of view. You move a see-through rectangle around the screen, deflecting a red ball towards a CPU-controlled "paddle" (for lack of a better term) in the distance.

The ball moves very smoothly and your paddle is responsive, but the digital control is far from precise. The center of the playing field has a layer of breakable blocks and power-ups. Power-ups might expand your paddle or allow you to aim, but don't get too excited about the "fireball", which is only used to create explosions to obstruct your opponent's view.

Speaking of obstructions, the splotches of missed balls on your end really make the action hard to see. Robo Squash could be mildly entertaining if two players hook up their Lynx systems, but playing the CPU is a dull and lengthy ordeal. A full game can last up to sixteen rounds, with each taking the better part of ten minutes! I'm sorry, but portable games really need to be short.

The ball is supposed to pick up speed as each round progresses, but it's barely noticeable. The title screen plays a catchy tune, but during the game there's not much audio. Robo Squash might have been fun had it been faster and shorter, but we'll never know for sure. © Copyright 2008 The Video Game Critic.

1 or 2 players 

Robotron 2084
Grade: A
Publisher: Shadowsoft (1991)
Reviewed: 2019/12/26

screenshotRobotron 2084 was an intense dual-joystick rapid-fire arcade shooter from the early 80's. It also happens to be an accurate portrayal of what life will be like in 2084. You begin each frantic wave in the center of a screen with converging robots trying to kill you (because that's what they do). You fire like crazy trying to carve out an escape path, picking up clueless wandering humans along the way for bonus points.

My expectations for this Lynx version were low. Wouldn't the dozens of moving objects and flying projectiles bring the system to its knees? Not at all. If there's any slowness it wasn't obvious. Even more impressive is how the developers handled the control requirements. Your guy fires automatically and the two buttons are used to rotate your aim in eight directions. It works like a freaking charm.

This game is super addictive. I can't put it in without playing at least a dozen times. My single complaint is the excessive effects used to materialize your dude in the center, making it hard to see what's in the immediate vicinity at the start of each wave. Still, Robotron 2084 is a perfect example of adapting a classic to a portable without sacrificing the fun. © Copyright 2019 The Video Game Critic.

Our high score: 57,575
1 player 

Rygar
Grade: A
Publisher: Tecmo (1990)
Reviewed: 2013/4/10

screenshotIf you own a Lynx system, you really owe it to yourself to play Rygar. This portable platformer is first class all the way. The main character is a beefy medieval warrior armed with a huge spiked yo-yo. He needs it because every thing in the world wants him dead including bats, rhinos, ants, dragons, mysterious men in hoods, and the cable company.

You can throw your weapon high or low, and it's highly effective. Most creatures die after one hit, and that's good because there's usually not much time to react when they appear on the screen.

The sprites really push the limits of the system and the lush scenery is very easy on the eyes. The majestic waterfalls reminded me of those in Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis, 1991). Rygar's gameplay is simple, and that's part of its charm. You can pounce on enemies to stun them, but sometimes you bounce high off the screen and wonder where the hell he went.

The soundtrack offers a lively little tune with a catchy bass line, but some of the high-pitched sound effects are a little abrasive. At the end of each stage you'll enter a tomb where bonus points are tabulated. Attractive, easy-to-play, and fun, Rygar may be the most enjoyable title I've played on my Lynx. © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.

Our high score: 77,750
1 player 


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Screen shots courtesy of Atari Age, YouTube