Nintendo Gameboy, Atari Lynx, Sega Game Gear Final Thoughts + New Additions

The month of the 8/16 bit handhelds has come to a close and I’m happy I chose to spend a month primarily playing video games in my bed. The Nintendo Gameboy is obviously the most iconic & popular of the three and even the late in the system’s lifespan Gameboy Color version had its merits. The Gameboy’s games were clearly the best of the bunch and the success of the system has more to do with it’s classic software titles more than the hardware itself, which clearly has limitations. The original gray Gameboy is the classic version that most gamers identify with but it’s greenish hue made playing games more difficult than it needed to be. The Gameboy Pocket had a much better black & white screen for playing games and used fewer batteries so this is the better of the two classic options for playing games today. The Gameboy Color offers games in full color (obviously), which the Lynx and Game Gear (not to mention the Turbo Express) had been offering for years, as well as allows the old B&W games a new, limited color palette. Good idea but probably could have been implemented a couple years earlier than they did.

The Atari Lynx had the impressive tech for 1989 but unfortunately the games I own were less impressive. With no popular licenses like Mario and Zelda and not even any iconic updates of classic Atari titles to capitalize on their former success, the Lynx was doomed to fail. With that said, I do enjoy some of the games I own for the system but a lot of them appear to be duds. The size of the Lynx makes it less portable than most gamers would have liked back in the day, especially when compared to the small framed Gameboy. The Sega Game Gear, on the other hand, also had impressive tech but it had 3 more years to develop. Like the Lynx, Game Gear games were also hit and miss but there are some very impressive titles on the system. I would say the short battery life thanks to the back lit color screen was a huge detriment in 1992 but today it’s not that relevant if you have an AC adapter and just play at home like I do. Sega had a better chance than Atari to succeed and challenge Nintendo in the handheld wars but ultimately failed due to lack of must own games.

As for new pickups for the month, I did manage to snag a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons with manual for the Gameboy Color as an accompaniment to my loose copy of Zelda: Oracle of Ages. I also picked up a refurbished Game Gear as I had mentioned in a previous post. Bonus for me is that there was a copy of PGA Tour Golf 2 in the system, which is a decent game that I didn’t already own!

Nintendo Gameboy/Gameboy Pocket/Gameboy Color – Overall Grade: B+

Atari Lynx – Overall Grade: C

Sega Game Gear – Overall Grade: B-


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4 thoughts on “Nintendo Gameboy, Atari Lynx, Sega Game Gear Final Thoughts + New Additions

  1. While I haven’t had much experience with the Lynx, I have played the Game Gear quite extensively and consider it quite the underrated system. There are a ton of quality Master System and Genesis ports that still hold up surprisingly well today. If you’re willing to import, there are a ton of great games to get such as Sylvan Tale, Godzilla: Kaijuu no Daishingeki, and Kishin Douji Zenki . It’s a good thing the Game Gear is region free!

    One thing I’d argue with your post is that the success of the Gameboy was a direct result of its hardware. Nintendo sacrificed power for an affordable price. Sure, the Gameboy’s inferior screen couldn’t compare to the colored backlit displays of the Lynx and Game Gear, but at least it didn’t cost an arm and leg to buy one.

    The Game Gear and Lynx simply never stood a chance. When you consider that the Game Gear was only 40 dollars cheaper than the Sega Genesis, who could justify making that purchase? A brand associated with almost killing the industry and a $180 price tag; No surprised the Lynx sold as poorly as it did. I feel developers were keen enough to know these high price tags were going to scare off consumers, and made the right choice of backing the Gameboy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point. I neglected to mention the price difference between the color (Sega, Atari, NEC) handhelds and Nintendo’s. Add that plus recognizable and iconic software titles and there you have it. Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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