Atari Lynx Game Set pt. 1 – Hydra, Kung Food, Tournament Cyberball, Xybots

There’s no common thread to any of the Lynx games listed in this post beyond the fact that I own all of them complete in box. All 4 of these titles were sealed complete prior to this week when I decided to finally open them up to play them. When I bought them all with my Lynx back in the early 2000’s, my plan was to keep them sealed as I imagined keeping them sealed would be a good investment. Flash forward 15 years and I come to realize that sealed Lynx games are not uncommon at all and have not appreciated in price. With that knowledge, I finally decided to crack these games open and give them a try.

Hydra – River Raid style gameplay but with more of a behind view instead of top-down. You operate a speed boat and blast enemies with a variety of weapons while collecting items on the water and floating on balloons that you must jump up to get. Mechanics take a little time to get used to but Hydra is a fun but tough game. I constantly am running out of fuel which is frustrating. C+

Kung Food – Odd food based side scrolling beat ’em up where you control a green man kicking the ass of evil food and food pests (roaches and other assorted bugs….gross). The game itself is redundant and spikes pop up out of nowhere for cheap hits. The plus side is there are plenty of health power ups scattered around the playfield so you should use strategy and only pick them up after you’ve killed all the enemies on the screen as you will get hit often. Hit detection is spotty at best and because the playing field is not linear it’s difficult to line up your attacks against enemies that are constantly moving. Decent concept from a uniqueness standpoint but mediocre execution. C-

Tournament Cyberball – Oh my god….this game is unplayable. A football game in name only, Cyberball pits robot teams against each other with passing and running controls that are broken. Inexplicably, the ball will periodically explode too, huh? I have no idea how to stop the computer and I can’t advance the ball at all after several tries so I’m calling it quits. F

Xybots – The best of the lot in my opinion. A corridor shooter, not too dissimilar to the back-view levels in Contra except you get to move around mazes instead of a static screen. You control a futuristic soldier blasting robotic enemies while collecting items, keys and coins. Within the mazes there will be checkpoints that allow you to move on to new mazes and also opportunities to visit a shop of sorts to spend your coins on upgraded weapons, armor, maps, etc. Worst parts of this game for me is the awkward turning mechanism that allows you to turn 45 degrees. It tends to disorient me since all of the backgrounds look the same. I tend to just strafe in the same direction to keep the maze clearer in my mind. Also I don’t care for the lack of energy screen so I have no idea how close I am to death at any given moment. A solid game for the Lynx otherwise and worth a play. B

Currently in my collection:

Hydra – game, manual, box

Kung Food – game, manual, box

Tournament Cyberball – game, manual, box

Xybots – game, manual, box

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