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a game by HAL Laboratory
Genre: Platformer
Platforms: NESNES, Lynx
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 7.6/10 - 5 votes
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See also: Arcade Games

Here's a blast from the past that still holds its own among newer and sleeker games for the Lynx. If you're too young to remember the excitement of the original arcade version, fear not feathered fiends. This excellent portover from Atari packs the fun and frustration of the arcade original onto a considerably smaller Lynx screen.

Surely you Joust!

Joust from Atari is an on-the-ostrich egg banger that pits you and your bird buddy steed against an aerial aviary assault in up to 80 levels of high flying play. To Joust is to fly into other bird-riding jousters and try to dismount them. You score a dismount by hitting your enemies above their lance and knocking them on their tail feathers. When you do dismount an enemy, they turn into eggs (kind of like reverse evolution). Then, you collect these eggs by running over them. Enemy jousters range from Bounders, who generally just fly around the screen and wait for you to pounce on them, to Shad-owlords, who take the initiative and come looking for some beaked breakfast.

Compared to the action, the graphics come off like a dead canary. Fortunately, the play is fast. This is good because at a standstill your birds look about as square as a henhouse.

Although there are no tunes, the sound carries the digitized squawks and lance-to-lance booms found in the original. With all this chirping, who needs the missing music?

Joust Desserts

Enemy jousters are not your only concern. The 10 progressive skill levels of action take place above a lava pit. After the third wave of enemy jousters, the pit opens and you have to watch your feet as well as your feathers. Lava Trolls occasionally reach up from the pit and try to grab a quick dinner-and they're very fond of bird! Anyone for roast Jouster?

Joust What You Need

Although Joust's graphics are almost identical to the arcade version (which was no peacock to begin with), the game play is very addictive. It's fun to fly around and knock people off their perches, which is a lot harder than it sounds. There's even a two-player mode where you can spend hours trying to scramble someone elses eggs via a ComLynx. Joust is feathered fun, and definitely my peck for comeback classic of the month.


  • Don't wait to grab those eggs! If left alone, they sprout into tougher, more aggressive riders. Remember, the rule is to decimate, not incubate!
  • Always fly to the top level after a round. You'll have a bird's-eye view of the competition. Other birds will only materialize below you.
  • Lava Trolls will grab enemy birds as well. Lure opposing jousters near the pits and hope the Troll is hungry.
  • If a Lava Troll grabs you, furiously flap your wings. You may break his grip and deny him his dinner.

Download Joust


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Hop on your ostrich and prepare for a tournament of danger in Joust! The arcade classic is now on the Lynx for all you portable gamers.

Knock your Pterodactyl enemies off of their buzzards to complete each level and rack up big points. As you progress further in the dark and murky lands, you'll face more dangers like burning bridges, disappearing platforms and Lava Trolls. Grab your lance for a real challenge!

People say:


Joust is one of my all-time favorites despite its repetitive nature. The real test of this game is the similarity of execution and, in most respects, the Lynx version comes out with flying colors. The screen size makes it difficult to judge encounters accurately, however, detracting from a good game.


Wow! Another game from my era. Atari has done a remarkable hob of recreating the feel of the original arcade title and even though you are doing the same thing level after level, the game does stay challenging as it gets more difficult to clear the levels as you progress farther into the game. A great blast from the past.


Joust is one of my old arcade favorites. It is repetitive by nature, but plays really well and building you score through surviving is the key goal. Everything is practically identical even the sound effects! The only problem is with the tiny screen the game seems kind of cramped and judging the height of your pole is difficult.


Joust on the Lynx is just what the doctor ordered for this old gamer! Many of the same tricks from the original arcade (like slipping through cracks) are intact, to my delight! Joust should provide hours of fun for those of us who loved the original arcade classic. Just remember to keep an eye out for that fire troll!

Snapshots and Media

Atari Lynx Screenshots

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots

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