The Atari Lynx splits the retro community like no other, either you love it or you hate it, for me it’s a brilliant system, I’ve owned one more or less from its launch here in the UK so I have a sizable collection of games for it. The one area I’ve wanted to explore more of, is the very active homebrew scene that surrounds the Lynx, whether its games or hardware there is tons of it out there. One such piece of hardware is the Atari Lynx GD Cartridge from RetroHQ (GD = Game Drive), it’s a flash card solution, much like the everdrive cartridges that I’m sure most of you have heard of.
The cartridge comes packaged in a sealed anti-static bag, there is no box included, that’s not a big deal for me personally but if you really must have one then some clever soul has created a design for one that you can make yourself HERE. Also included is a nice coloured instruction leaflet and a 1gb Micro SD card , you won’t need anything bigger I can assure you of that.
As far as cartridges go, this is one smart looking device, James really has produced a great looking product and it feels quality too, its also the first time I’ve seen anything 3D printed which is the cover in this case, ok its not as polished as you would get from a proper manufacturer but never the less I am still impressed.
What beautiful about this device is its simplicity to use, just copy the files over to the Micro SD card via your PC, pop the card into the cartridge and plug the cartridge into the Lynx Cartridge slot.
One thing I need to mention is the Lynx I and Lynx II models have different cartridge slot positions so you will need the bare model that RetroHQ supply.
Once you get to this point you can switch the handheld on, a message saying INSERT GAME appears and this is normal, this is where the trickery happens, soon after a menu appears with all the games you have just put onto the Micro SD card. No you can move up and down using the D-Pad to select the game you want to play, hit the button and the game starts to load, this loading process is not as instant as you would expect from an original cartridge game, there is a small delay as the game is written from the Micro SD card to the SRAM, I guess around 6 secs on average, nothing to worry about considering what you get in terms of shear game time with all the games you can load on this.
Overall this is a must own product, its a comparable price to those from the Everdrive stable of cartridges sitting at around £70, not including postage. One must remember this does come with a fully tested Micro SD card, and its developed by one guy making them to order and not mass-produced. For me this is a must own for any Lynx Owner, especially if your interested in some of the more rare titles and of course the ever-expanding homebrew scene.
As I already mentioned, James produces these to order so there is a waiting list you need to get your name on at Atari Age (Clicky).
RetroHQ is a one man band, creating a product of this high quality is mind blowing really, the fact is, this does what its design to do and a must for Lynx owners as it will breathe new life into your Lynx like it has mine.
Retro head and key holder of RVG.