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Toki - The Atari Times


Going ape for this arcade to Lynx conversion
by Dan Loosen

September 20, 2004
Who remembers Toki?  This arcade "hit" flew through the arcades very quickly.  The premise is something about a wizard shrinking Toki the caveman into an ape and stealing his girlfriend.  As Toki in his ape form, you must travel through this tough 2D platformer to save her.  The arcade game was insanely tough, and as far as I know, only three console ports were made -- One for the NES, One for the Sega Genesis with the subtitle of "Going Ape Spit" and this one, the Lynx version of Toki.  None of the games are very common.

The problem with Toki is that it is such a tough game that to translate it to the home market just turns people off.  If you can play the game the whole way through with an unlimited amount of continues, it isn't replayable.  If you don't have a good number of continues, your frustration won't take you too far into the game.  The Lynx version, unlike the others, has not been "dumbed down" for the home market, and this is a blessing and a curse at the same time.

The game is tough to make your way through it, but the levels are inspired and the great sound effects and tunes will keep you happy.  Overcoming the challenges in the game is very rewarding, and you can progress if you keep your wits about you.  It will just take a while.  Control is spot on, allowing Toki to make precise jumps and spit (yes, that is your main "weapon") in five different directions.

Toki is a great game that is hampered by the fact that it only takes one hit from an enemy to end your life.  You can figure out the patterns, and you can make it through the entire game with a lot of practice, but you must have a lot of patience to make it that far.  No matter how much I loved the arcade game -- and I really did -- the Lynx version simply can get too tedious at times, and I was and still am surprised that I rarely pull this title out to play anymore.

This one has a nice opening sequence on the title screen.
There are plenty of powerups to grab.
The first "boss."
Shoot like mad to defeat the second boss.
System: Lynx
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Action
Graphics Score: 80%
Sound & Music Score: 90%
Gameplay Score: 55%
Control Score: 95%

Final Score: 70%

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