Dinolympics, Atari Lynx

Also known as The Humans, Dinolympics is the Americanised title of this original puzzle game, developed by Imagitech Design and released on the Atari Lynx in 1992.

Dinolympics features ‘prehistoric men’ and their struggle to evolve up the food chain, by completing tasks (usually by getting to the exit on each level or by collect a special item), by using various tools at their disposal (spears, fire, wheels, ropes, and even a witch doctor).

The game is very similar to Lemmings in some respects, but with larger graphics and a different control system. Ultimately, though, you’re basically trying to ‘save’ your dudes from a fate worse than death (and a decreasing timer) by issuing commands that’ll overcome various obstacles.

Of course the game features dinosaurs (thus the title) and conveniently ignores the fact that humans and dinosaurs never co-existed together (except in Karl Pilkington‘s mind, and in the film One Million Years BC). But this is just satirical fantasy, of course, so that doesn’t matter…

Graphically, the game is very… green and blue, and the animated cavemen are cute and well-animated. The screen scrolling is smooth too. Pressing the Option 2 button brings up a useful overview of the entire level, which you can use to zoom in to a specific area.

Gameplay-wise the puzzles are challenging enough, with a nice difficulty gradient, and the control interface is fairly intuitive.

Dinolympics is not what I would call ‘groundbreaking’, but it is a decent enough game on the Atari Lynx. And a rare British entry into this week’s Lynx special. In total there are 25 levels to beat and these can be accessed using text-based passwords.

More: The Humans on Wikipedia

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