The Lynx GD (Game Drive) has been in development for some time and there has been a good amount of updates about it in the recent weeks, but this is the update you've all been waiting for. AtariAge has received a shipment of these and they are preparing to send them out. You can register your interest to pre-order on the AtariAge store. The Lynx GD will set you back $95 USD (plus shipping).
AtariAge has indicated that a 'premium' version will be available in the future, which will include a professionally made box with either a cartridge insert or cartridge holder, and manual. This 'premium' version will cost slightly more. The version being sold now is the the cartridge on its own, with a manual.
Both the Lynx GD (Game Drive) from RetroHQ and the BennVenn's ElCheapo SD flash carts for Atari Lynx had some awesome updates in the last few days. If you've been following the progress of these two projects, both are aiming for blazing fast ROM loading from an SD cart. The RetroHQ cart is more of a 'premium' product that features an all new menu system with game screenshots loading, a cheat system and many configurable options. It will come in professional packaging and will be available from Atari Age and Dragon Box. Check out the 'first look video' here.
BennVenn's version of the cart aims for the budget market and provides the basics for playing ROMs from an SD card, it's fast, but doesn't have all the fancy features or packaging, but comes at a much lower price point. The boards are ready in China according to BennVenn's latest update.
Atari Gamer has both carts to review and we will be doing a head-to-head review in this coming week, so keep an eye out!
Since we started to collaborate with AtariAge, quite a few new ideas have come up and one of them has been updating the look and feel of the game database we maintain. Previously the interface felt a little old and like it didn't show enough information, now we've added a heap of new icons for the release type, cartridge type, package type and ROM. It looks much more appealing now and it's easy to see information about each entry at a quick glance...
Comparing variants of the same game couldn't be easier now too (though you can still do a side-by-side compare if you click on a game entry and then from its information page click the 'Compare' link)...
All of the official releases and pack types are included and the rarity scores are now shown next to each of the game entries (where available). There is no longer a separate rarity scores page.
Of course the 'Advanced Search' has been updated to include all the new categories.
Oh and there's a cool new Legend at the bottom of the game listing too!
The Collection Tracker has had the same changes introduced too.
Just when you thought that BennVenn was simply going to make a cheap version of an SD cart, he blows everyone away with an update like this. BV has been working on making a mold for making plastic shells for his upcoming BennVenn's ElCheapo SD cartridge (a flashable SD cart for Atari Lynx).
The injection mold is almost ready, here's a short video of the milling machine doing its thing...
The results are quite impressive too. So far these shells do not have voids for PCBs, but that's something BV has been thinking about.
His plan is to inject the molten plastic into the mold with the cart PCB inside it. No glue required! So far this only worked with his earlier BennVenn 512k Flash & 1kbit EEPROM Lynx Cart prototype PCB, but should be possible to get to work with the ElCheapoSD PCB too.
Looks very cool and the pre-orders for the ElCheapoSD cartridge are already open. Hopefully we'll see the shell in the funky multi-colour design when it's ready to launch!
Version 0.3.3 of 8bit-Unity has now been released and it brings both Atari Lynx support and a cool new tech demo to show off what's been done. Lynx support was actually added in version 0.3, but we're reporting on this a little late and the latest version came out very soon after. There's also tracker support (chipper) and all the documentation has been updated.
Here's a quick look at the tech demos that are available at the moment...
8bit-Goblin is a point and click style Tech Demo introduced in release 0.3.3 (of 8bit-Unity). The code shows how to implement scene management, including: interactable objects, pickable items, scene animation
8bit-Grubs is an artillery style Tech Demo introduced in release 0.2.0 (of 8bit-Unity). The code shows how to use sprites and get/set pixel color on bitmaps.
However the fun doesn't end there! 8bit-Hub is a piece of hardware that's designed to work with the SDK. It will interface with the Atari Lynx and will provide a number of features (to be revealed later). Here's a sneak peek of the hardware...
Here's a great installation video of the BennVenn Atari Lynx 2 LCD mod kit from Mark Fixes Stuff. Even if you've done the install already this video is worth a watch, but if you haven't then this guide will be a very useful reference. Mark goes on to install the LCD replacement kit, then does some comparisons of the old and new screens. It's professionally done and is quite entertaining, and the quality is...crystal clear! 😛
Our original installation guide can be found here - Installing and testing out the BennVenn LCD Mod for Atari Lynx
Evercade has announced a second Atari Lynx cartridge with 8 more of the original game titles...
The ‘Atari Lynx Collection 2’ cartridge for Evercade includes 8 classic games including: California Games, Chips Challenge, Checkered Flag, Todd’s Adventures in Slimeworld, Electro Cop, Gates of Zendocon, Zarlor Mercenary and Blue Lightning!
The first cartridge was announced some time back and included 11 games, mostly original Atari releases but some home-brews also managed to sneak in.
While we wait patiently for Songbird Productions to release the handful or so of new games for Atari Lynx, we've got news of the cartridges that will be used...
Here is a photo of the final shell samples which I have approved for production. They are confirmed to work in both Lynx I and Lynx II. All Songbird Lynx carts going forward will include the 128-byte EEPROM for games which use saved data.
Those carts look seriously good! They are in the style of the official Atari "curved lip" carts, sans the Fuji logo of course. The carts are injection moulded in the same colour as the official carts. They are obviously based on the Atari Gamer curved lip cart shell design which is available to download from Thingiverse for free.
Cyberpunk Experiment 2037 is a new Atari Lynx game in development for the currently running Lynx 2020 Programming Competition. It looks like a very promising start to the game, of course it is still in heavy development, but there is a ROM available to try out.
From the game's itch.io page...
The game held in 2037, in a Cyberpunk like environment. You wake up as an amnesic, your brain has been swapped by someone else so you have to discover who and why. You can get for cheap a techbrain module that gives you a kind of Humphrey Bogart personnality (at least a detective appearance), and you go outside to explore New Casablanca (even if it is in Morocco as far as I know).
Unnamed has been in development for two years and Marcin Siwek keeps on releasing bits and pieces about that game to keep us all interested. His latest teaser is of the game's cover art and cartridge design. It's still not confirmed if the game will be released in physical form or if it will be a digital ROM download.
Atari Gamer has also been working with Marcin to get the English language story text finalised. We've got most of the text done and are now play-testing the game. This is going to be a very cool release!
So if this becomes a digital release, how much would you expect to pay?
Last year BennVenn started making mods for Atari Lynx and his LCD Replacement Kit quickly gained popularity due to its cost (much cheaper than the McWill kit). This year BV is introducing the ElCheapoSD Cart for Atari Lynx, which lets you play Lynx ROMs from an SD card.
Atari Gamer has been working together with BV to help get the firmware developed. There's a rudimentary menu loader in place now, but we'll be making a more feature rich loader once the prototype hardware is finalised. You can see the cart in operation below...
This cart is much faster than the original Lynx SD, with 512Kib ROMs loading in under 2 seconds. It also has an onboard EEPROM, which means that games that have a save feature (mostly the recent homebrews) will work on this cart.
The best part is of course the price - at $45USD for the pre-order this is a steal! You can pre-order it here.
Songbird Productions is at it again, announcing another two games to their line up of games to be released this year...Quadromania Redux and Sky Raider Redux. Both of these games are incarnations of their previous releases. They will come on new curved lip carts and will have EEPROM (save) support as well as many new features and updates.
The games are due for physical release in fall 2020. You can read more about this from the Songbird Productions blog - The growing family of Songbird IP.