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Platform - LYNX.png
Released: 1989-09-01
Discontinued: 1995-??-??
Developer: Epyx, Atari
Type: Hardware

The Lynx is a 8/16-bit handheld game console that was released by Atari Corporation in September 1989 in North America, and in Europe and Japan in 1990.

It was the world's first handheld electronic game console with a color LCD. It was also notable for its advanced graphics and ambidextrous layout. The Lynx competed with the Game Boy (released two months earlier), as well as the Game Gear and TurboExpress, both released the following year. It was discontinued in 1995.

The Lynx system was originally developed by Epyx as the Handy Game, but it was rebranded and remarked by Atari as the Lynx in 1989.



The Lynx had two models.

Lynx I

The Lynx I is the most well-known of all the Atari Lynx variants. It is compatible with all Lynx cartridges.

Lynx II

The Lynx II is an improved version which contains slightly longer battery life.

Music and Sound

The Lynx used a unique processor chip called the Mikey. It offers 4 channels of LFSR-based sound. The four channels can also play back DPCM samples, which only a few games used.

Audio Development

For most Lynx games, it was all done by the composers, and some of them imported MIDI data into the games. Most of them were done by either Robert Vieira or Alex Rudis, who were one of the most popular Lynx composers of all time. In the rare circumstances that professional composers would hire, they would send their compositions via sheet music or recordings to the programmers to implement into the game.

The sound driver for most Lynx games was done by Dave Needle with assistance from Chris Grigg.