Thursday, January 21, 2021

EPISODE 13: Warbirds


#PA2032, Published by Atari Corp.
In this episode I cover an excellent (and extremely fun) action/flight simulator for the Atari Lynx, Warbirds, released in April of 1991 by Atari Corporation. I’ve got vital statistics about the game, along with credits, gameplay, reviews and ratings, some fun facts and trivia, and some listener feedback about the game.

Release Date: April 1991 by Atari Corporation. Warbirds was originally scheduled for release in December of 1990 under the title Red Baron.
Initial retail price: In the US: $34.95; in the UK: £29.99.
Cartridge: 1-megabyte stereo curved lip-style cartridge. Game developer and distributor Telegames also released Warbirds on a PCB in 2008.
Genre: First-person action/flight simulator for one player, or for two-to-four players using the ComLynx cable.
Screen/playfield orientation: landscape (horizontal).
Other Ports: There were no other ports of this game.
Sequels: There were no sequels to this game.
Levels: There are six levels, or Missions, in Warbirds: Milk Run, Double Teamed, Red Baron, Paths of Glory, Pair of Aces, and The Swarm. Players can also control Ammunition levels, Damage levels, Collision levels, the number of Lives, and the Start Mode.
Carton:  Full-color standard-tab regular-size carton (5 3/8″ by 4 3/8″ by 7/8″). A French version was also sold.
Manual: A 20-page (including front and back covers) stapled regular-sized booklet manual in full color, measuring the usual 4 7/8” high by 3 ¾” wide.
Languages: As far as I can determine, the manual was available in the U.S. in an English version only. In France Warbirds was released in the bi-lingual carton with a sheet of instructions in French.

Design and Programming: Rob Zdybel (Part One and Part Two of the ANTIC podcast interview by Randy Kindig)
Art and Animation: Susan G. McBrideMelody Rondeau
Sound and Music: Robert Vieira
Thanks: The Atari Crowd, The Friday Knights
Special Thanks: John SkruchDave Needle
Dedication: For my father

The people in the UK behind the new cartridge-based retro handheld console Evercade have released two Atari Lynx compilation carts for their new system. The first cart, called Atari Lynx Collection 1, comprises 17 Atari Lynx titles, including 12 classic titles (Awesome Golf, Crystal Mines II: Buried Treasure, Dracula: The Undead, Gordo 106, Ishido: The Way of Stones, Jimmy Connors’ Tennis, Malibu Bikini Volleyball, Power Factor, Scrapyard Dog, Basketbrawl, Super Asteroids/Missile Command®, and Super Sqweek), plus 4 after-market titles from Songbird Productions (CyberVirus, Loopz, MegaPak 1, and Remnant: Planar Wars), and one homebrew title (Xump – The Final Run). The second cart, called Atari Lynx Collection 2, includes 8 classic Lynx titles: Blue Lightning, California Games, Chip’s Challenge, Checkered Flag, ElectroCop, Gates of Zendocon, Todd’s Adventures in Slime World, and Zarlor Mercenary. On the Amazon website, the pricing (not including shipping) is $22.99 for the Collection 1 cart and $19.99 for the Collection 2 cart. On the Funstock website in the UK, each cart will set you back £14.99 plus shipping.

Information About Warbirds:
Atari Age title info/rarity guide for Warbirds
Atari Gamer title info/rarity guide for Warbirds
Wikipedia article about Warbirds
Moby Games article about Warbirds
GameFAQs article for Warbirds
Warbirds Tips, Cheats & Easter Eggs from Atari Age
Warbirds Cheats from GameSpot

Reviews and Ratings for Warbirds:
Review by Ian Johns in Games-X Magazine (UK; Issue #01; May 3, 1991)
Review by Les Ellis and Julian Boardman in RAZE Magazine (UK; Issue #08; June 1991)
Review by Rigor Mortis on page 59 of GamePro Magazine (US; Issue #23; June 1991)
Review by John Sweeney on page 6 of New Atari User Magazine (UK; Issue #56; June/July 1991)
Ratings and Reviews by The Review Crew in Electronic Gaming Monthly Magazine (US; Issue #24; July 1991)
Review by David Upchurch in ACE Magazine (UK; Issue #47; August 1991)
Review by Paul Glancey in Computer and Video Games Magazine (UK; Issue #117; August 1991)
Review by Robert A. Jung at IGN (1999)
Review by JDeLuna at GameFAQs (1999)
Review by John Huxley at DefunctGames (2007)
Review by The Video Game Critic at The Video Game Critic (2008)
Review by Ron Alpert at Gamasutra (2010)
Review by The Cubist at NerdBacon (2013)
Review by Keita Iita at Atari Gaming Headquarters (2014)
Review by Jon Mc at Atari Gamer (2018)

YouTube Videos About Warbirds:
Playthrough (World-of-Longplays)
Playthrough and Commentary (Steve Benway)
Playthrough and Commentary (UnconBentional)
Playthrough and Review (Louis Gorenfeld)
Playthrough and Review (HandheldGuru97)
Playthrough and Review (No Swear Gamer)
Playthrough-Last True Boss (ZoneLynx Atari)

YouTube Videos About KLAX and Tengen:
Glaggs It! (Atari 8-bit game similar to KLAX; link provided by Bill Kendrick)
Tengen: Atari vs. Nintendo (2015; Gaming Historian)

Retailers Selling Warbirds:
B & C ComputerVisions: The price lists systems at B &C crashed on August 3, 2018 and they have still not been restored, as of this recording date.
Best Electronics (last updated September 29, 2019; check website for availability): Warbirds not available.
The Gamesmen (Australia): AU$34.95 (NIB).
The Goat StoreUS39.94 (NIB).
Telegames (UK): £24.99 (including tax; listing does not include whether it’s a loose cart, cart/manual combo, or CIB).
Video 61 & Atari SalesUS$99.95 (NIB).

After-Market and Homebrew Lynx Titles Now Available:

As of the recording date, here are the after-market and homebrew Atari Lynx titles available from Luchs Soft in Germany (prices do not include shipping costs):
Alpine Games (€55,92)
Ejagfest Slideshow (€49,97)
Hanoi (€49,97)
Quadromania (€55,92)
Retro X-MASsacre (€44,02)
Space Battle (€55,92 [single], €74,96 [double])
Unseen (€49,97)
Weltenschl├Ąchter (€49,97)
Yastuna-The Alchemy of Cubes (€49,97)
Click here if you’re interested in ordering from Luchs Soft.

As of the recording date, here are the after-market and homebrew Atari Lynx titles available from Songbird Productions in the US (prices include tax/shipping costs):
Championship Rally ($59.95-$99.95)
Crystal Mines II: Buried Treasure ($59.95)
CyberVirus ($59.95)
Krazy Ace Miniature Golf ($69.95)
Lexis ($59.95)
Loopz ($59.95-$99.95)
MegaPak 1  ($59.95)
Othello ($44.95-$74.95)
Ponx ($49.95)
Raiden ($69.95)
Remnant: Planar Wars ($59.95)
SFX ($49.95)
SIMIS ($49.95-$79.95)
T-Tris ($44.95-$74.95)
Click here if you’re interested in ordering from Songbird Productions.

As of the recording date, here are the after-market and homebrew Atari Lynx titles available from Telegames in the UK (all prices include tax):
Alpine Games (£49.99)
Breakout 2000 (£75.00)
Bubble Trouble (£49.98)
Championship Rally (£49.99)
Crystal Mines II: Buried Treasure (£49.99)
CyberVirus (£49.99)
Fat Bobby (£49.99)
Hyperdrome (£52.98)
Krazy Ace Miniature Golf (£49.99)
Lexis (£49.99)
Lynx Reloaded (with Othello and MultoPong; £44.99)
Ponx (£39.98)
Raiden (£52.98)
Remnant: Planar Wars (£49.98)
SFX (£39.86)
SIMIS 5 w/Space Invaders (£49.98)
Sokomania (£52.98)
T-Tris (£49.98)
Click here if you’re interested in ordering from Telegames.

Resources for Atari Lynx Console/Game-Related Collecting Materials/Tools:
Resource: Game Boy Color cases for Atari Lynx cartridges from Joom
2 1/2″ coin storage sheets from Amazon
 Atari Lynx regular-size game carton sleeves from BuzzandBingosMoonCircus (eBay)
Resource: Atari Lynx custom regular-size game carton sleeves from RetroProtection
Resource: Atari Lynx large-size game carton sleeves from CollectnProtect
Building a custom Atari Lynx game carton shelving unit from AtariGamer
ResourceAtari Lynx II display stand from Etsy
Resource: BennVenn’s drop-in LCD screen and/or 3D-printed screen bracket frame for the Atari Lynx II.

“Thank You’s” and Other Lynks:
Antic: The Atari 8-Bit Podcast (Thanks to Brad Arnold, Randy Kindig, and Kevin Zavitz for the shoutout about The HandyCast in Episode 50!) (Thanks to Igor for incorporating The HandyCast into his excellent website!)
The Atari 2600 Game By Game Podcast (Thanks to The Podfather himself, Ferg, for encouraging his listeners to check out The HandyCast in both Episode 151 and Episode 154!)
The Atari Jaguar Game By Game Podcast (Thanks to Shinto for encouraging his listeners to check out The HandyCast in Episodes 22 and 26!)
Curtis Herod’s The Bl^ck Book v2 Indiegogo Campaign (Please consider helping to fund Curtis Herod’s Indiegogo campaign for The Black Book v2!)
Into the Vertical Blank Podcast (Thanks to hosts Jeff and Steve Fulton for “singing” about The HandyCast in Season 1, Episode 10!)
Please Stand By (Thanks to Zerbe and Ferg for helping to promote The  HandyCast on several episodes of this fun-to-listen-to show, starting with Episode 60!)
The RCR Podcast (Thanks to the Retro Computing Roundtable: Paul Hagstrom, Quinn Dunki, Jack Nutting, and Carrington Vance, for highlighting The HandyCast in Episode 167!)
The Retro MacCast Podcast (Thanks to Retro MacCast hosts James Savage and John Leake for highlighting The HandyCast in Episode 475!)
Retro Video Gamer Forums (Thanks to Eugenio/TrekMD for helping to promote The HandyCast on his wonderful forums!)
PDF of Historical Atari Lynx UK Magazine Advert/Reviews Collection (Thanks to AmigaJay for compiling this compilation, and also to Bobbi Iddod Moore for alerting me about it on Facebook!)

Thanks go to everyone who contributed feedback about Warbirds for this episode: Luke Altman, Aurethius, Ben Brady, Al Campbell, Eric Christopherson, Gary Da Ponte, Norman Davie, James Davis, Dan DeVriend, Hugo Dufort, Michael M. Eilers, Eugenio (TrekMD), Jim Goebel, Louis Gorenfeld, Curtus Herod (Cujo), Timmi Ho, Bill Kendrick, Seth Kovel, Igor Kromin, Mario Librizzi, Matesamo, Greig Mcgregor, Hugh Meikle, Jason Minton, Mark Newton-John, Howard O’Berg, Bradley Quiring, RD Reynolds, James Shackel, Shinto, sramirez2008, Matthew Szewczyk, Bobby Tribble, and Mike Wendel. I really appreciate your feedback!

Also, I would like to thank the Free Music Archive for the following musical artists and songs that were used in this episode under the Creative Commons License: “8-Bit Core” by Tagirijus (opening and closing theme music), along with “Ascending Souls,” “Centre (Quasar II),” “Chasing Rainbows,” “Discharge,” “Propaganda Machine,” “Sweet  Passage,” and “The World Around You,” all by Frau Holle.

I would especially like to thank Shinto for submitting his memories of various Atari Lynx games he’s owned in the past to The Atari Lynx HandyCast…they are greatly appreciated. And you should all check out Shinto’s wonderful Atari Jaguar Game by Game Podcast; it’s definitely worth listening to, even if you’ve never owned a Jaguar. You can find it here.

Many, many thanks also go to Zerbinator for his continued support. His encouragement and expertise are very much appreciated by me. You can find all of his fun-to-listen-to podcasts here, including my favorite, Please Stand By.

Finally, my thanks to the Podfather himself, Ferg of The Atari 2600 Game by Game Podcast. His inspiration and dedication to covering every game cartridge ever made for the Atari 2600 (I think over 1000 of them!) is what gave me the courage to begin this podcast. Please, check out his don’t-miss podcast, even if you’re not an Atari 2600 collector; or at least visit his website here.

I hope you enjoy this episode of The Atari Lynx HandyCast. And please don’t forget to visit the official Atari Lynx HandyCast website by clicking here!


Next Episode: “EPISODE 14: Qix”

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