As part of the Atari Lynx 30th Birthday Celebrations we started to ask you, our readers, to submit votes and ratings for all of the Atari Lynx games that have ever been released. We've had a good response with over 600 votes coming in and have now been able to tally them and analyse the results. We're now ready to tell you what the general consensus is on the best and worst rated Atari Lynx games!
Ok so lets get to the results. We only looked at games that received a minimum of 5 votes, this limited the scope but also meant that we had better numbers to work with. We also looked at the top and bottom 5 games within each of the rated categories (replay value, graphics, sounds effects, music and controls)...
For a game to have high replay value, it must be addictive and fun and have that "one more turn" feel to it. The top 5 definitely fit that bill. It's good to see a range of games here, from a classic tile puzzle game like Shanghai, to Lynx staples like Crystal Mines II, to a modern homebrew JRPG release - Wyvern Tales. As for the bottom 5, there are many repulsive titles in that list for sure, who really wants to play Batman again after dying the first 100 times?!
There are no real surprises here, Shadow of the Beast really does deserve the top spot and Pit-Fighter, well yeah that should be on the bottom. It's nice to see that Zaku, a game that was released as a homebrew project, has made it into the top 3 for graphics. There weren't any truly terrible looking games on the Lynx and that reflects in the results with no game scoring below 2.3/5 on average.
Sound effects can make or break a great looking game. The top 5 have a great handle on sound effects, and again the homebrew Zaku is up there along with many other strong Lynx classics. In the bottom 5 there aren't too many really bad scores, and maybe Pit-Fighter doesn't deserve such a low score, but the people have spoken!
Ah music, who can forget the iconic California Games tune or the Gates of Zendocon intro? Amazing musical compositions there in the top 5. In the bottom 5, well how do you really rate a game that has little to no music, or music only on the title screen? Well, low is one way!
Controls really determine if a game is going to stick, get control wrong and even the most amazing looking and sounding game will feel clunky. The top 5 hit the mark and it's good to see a racing game, Checkered Flag, make the cut here - its controls do feel good, even though they are mostly the same as with a similar game, RoadBlasters, there's something about Checkered Flag controls that feels smoother. Bottom 5...ugh! Remember the first time you played A.P.B. and had no idea how to control the car?
It's always a debate on how the overall rating score for a game should be calculated. That's exactly why we won't be doing that here, however it is safe to say that the worst rated game on Atari Lynx has to be Pit-Fighter, having turned up as one of the lowest scoring games in all categories. The best game as voted by you goes out to Lemmings!
If you check results for each of the games now they may be different due to new votes coming in, and if you haven't had your say, head on over to the Best Lynx Games and submit your ratings!
Note: We erroneously stated that the best voted game is Zaku when this article came out. Thanks to our keen readers for pointing out our miscalculation, we've now updated this article with correct information.-AG