Toki on the Atari Lynx is a conversion of the 1989 arcade game of the same name. It features an agile ape, jumping through levels of a platform game, and is extremely challenging – just like the original.
While Toki is an excellent conversion, and shows off what the Lynx can do, it is also very frustrating, because it’s so damn tough. It’s not quite as hard as the arcade original, though (the arcade game is one of the most difficult and unfair games of all time, in my humble opinion). So Lynx players can be thankful for small mercies…
Toki the ape must work his way through six different scrolling levels and defeat the boss at the end of each, to beat the game. Which is something of a tall order when you consider all the hostile creatures that Toki is up against. There are exploding stalagmites that shoot death-dealing projectiles in every direction; venom-spitting spiders; cannon-firing monkeys; killer fish; mid-level bosses, and all manner of insta-kill animals that do everything they can to ruin Toki‘s day and stop him in the tracks. Playing Toki is like running the gauntlet against an army of serial killers dressed in American football outfits and wielding axes…
Like in the arcade game, Toki loses a life if anything hostile touches him. You get three lives per game, and three continues, and that’s yer lot. In his defence Toki can and spit at his adversaries, to take them out, and can also protect himself by picking up certain power-ups, like the football helmet (grants temporary invulnerability), high jump shoes, fire breath, bigger spit, multi-spit, and the occasional clock to add more time. Did I forget to mention that there’s an in-game timer too? Yes there is, and it’s a tight one. Toki can also jump on the heads of some enemies, but this doesn’t kill them, it merely uses them as a springboard to reach higher places.
Even with saves in an emulator, Toki is an almost impossible challenge unless you have the entire game memorised. And are lucky. It’s a pity the Lynx conversion doesn’t take a leaf out of the NES conversion of Toki and at least allow him a health bar, rather than one-hit-kill frustration. But the game is what it is. That is: a real bastard to play. As the screenshots here indicate: I gave up halfway through the third level. Much like my experience with the arcade original. It’s a pity this game is so incredibly hard, because it’s really rather good. It’s one of the better platform games on the Atari Lynx.
Toki on the Lynx was developed by Fabtech, Inc. and was first released in 1992.
More: Toki on Wikipedia