Retro Game of the Day! Batman Returns (Lynx)Batman Returns for the Atari Lynx, released in 1993 to coincide with the film. Developed by Atari, or some subset thereof...!
The Atari Lynx.. sometimes I feel like I am the only one that remembers that poor little forgotten system, history has not been kind to it one bit. Admittedly, retrogames are somewhat in vogue right now, but nary a whisper is ever uttered about this system or its games. This is a shame, because it was a great little unit with some pretty stellar titles for its time.
It was quite odd to see a big name like Batman showing up for some screentime here. There were lots of "big brother" console versions to feature the franchise, but the Lynx seemed like it was almost completely devoid of any real licensed fare outside of ports of Atari's own arcade titles. While there was a Batman arcade machine, this card had little in common with that.
It's a little rough to tell based on these screenshots, but Batman Returns was graphically one fo the most impressive Lynx games. The system was saddled with an extremely low-resolution display, and therefore many of its games had a very pixelated look; mind you this was the first color portable game system, and you'll understand that a little pixelation wasn't going to cause much grief in the early 1990s! Aside from that, the use of color was excellent and there was a large cast of characters with elaborately detailed scenery. The game world was oozing with color and life, even for a title which took place mostly at night.
Gameplay-wise, Batman Returns left a lot to be desired. The game was your standard "walk to the right and kill enemies" style, but they filled the game with a constant flow of opponents who'd lay into you with endless cheap shots. Life-refill was a rarity, and you only had a single life if I remember correctly. For a game likely designed to help bring more mainstream players into the Lynx's world, they could have gone a long way into making this something more enjoyable to actually play.
Batman Returns is far from a bad outing on the Lynx, and if you're a collector then it's a must-have for your set. But if you are looking for a good-playing retro Batman game, this one - while pretty to look at and fun to tool around with for a bit - will likely frustrate you to no end!