AGH Lynx Review:

by Shadowsoft

Joust Pic 1
Williams' classic arcade hit comes to the Atari Lynx portable machine, and boy does it rock! The Lynx version of Joust is a near-exact replication of the original, and it also helps that Joust is a tailor-made game for portable systems with its fast action and tireless replay value. If you liked Joust in the arcade, you'll be drooling over Shadowsoft's portable translation.

In Joust, you engage in aerial joust while on board an flying ostrich. The rule is simple: run into a foe while your lance is higher than his, and he's eliminated. If he's on top of you when colliding, you're dead meat. This seemingly simple objective is no cakewalk, however. After defeating an enemy, he turns into an egg. Failure on your part in picking up the egg results in an even deadlier combatant to hatch. Also, as you progress to later levels, there's no rest for the weary. The number of enemies increases and platforms slowly disappear from under you. And don't stray too low on the playfield, because the lava troll is lurking in the lava pit, ready to snatch any knight who veers too close. The most fearsome foe, however, is the Pterodactyl. It's one mean flying machine that moves twice as fast as any other on-screen character, and it has a nose for knocking off combatants in its path. After every few levels, you get the chance to participate in a bonus round, where you collect eggs for points and allows you a temporary (and well-deserved) breather.

Joust Pic 2
While this version is basically nothing more than a straight port, Shadowsoft did throw in a few goodies to add to the fun. You can play with a friend (either cooperatively or head-to-head) via the ComLynx cable, just like the arcade. There are also ten levels of difficult from which to select from, with the higher levels presenting an almost chaotic environment. A high score list is provided that tracks the five best scores in the game. Most significant, however, is the ability to select either the ostrich or the stork as your mount depending on whether you press A or B to start. B gives you the ostrich, and A gives you the stork.

Simply put, the Lynx version of Joust is marvelous. The original version was a timeless masterpiece, and if it ain't broke, why fix it? The graphics are sharp and colorful, and the sounds are just like how you remember them, all the way down to the screeching sound that's made when you bring your ostrich to a grinding halt. Purists will be hard pressed to find any faults in the replication, while players uninitiated with this game will be entranced by its simple yet addicting gameplay. A must buy.

Title Joust
Publisher Shadowsoft
System Atari Lynx
Graphics 9
Sound 9
Gameplay 9
Overall 9
Reviewer Keita Iida

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