We're not ashamed to admit that we're massive fans of the Evercade family of systems here at Time Extension. Since the inception of the Evercade line back in 2020, we've seen two different hardware variants and a flood of cartridges, many of which contain titles that haven't been legally available in physical form for decades. Evercade has opened up a whole new world of video game curation and preservation that has enabled some of the retro gaming industry's leading lights to connect with new audiences – and we're pleased to report that the system's good work doesn't look like slowing down anytime soon.
Evercade creator Blaze has sent us the four latest cartridges for the system, and the scope of this quartet shows just how wide-ranging the console's remit has become; we've got a collection of arcade hits from Toaplan, a cart which focuses on the Commodore 64, another collection which brings Amiga games to the Evercade for the first time and a third Piko collection containing some of the titles from that company's astonishingly varied selection of acquired IP.
The C64 Collection is the second such pack for the Evercade and delivers 14 8-bit classics, including California Games, Uridium, Nebulus, Impossible Mission II and Cybernoid; it's no exaggeration to claim that some of those rank as the best games on the system, and they're returning to retail in this pack. Likewise, the Team17 Collection offers up Amiga hits such as Body Blows, Alien Breed and Project-X – slices of 16-bit action that will no doubt make a lot of 40-something players misty-eyed with nostalgia. As we've already mentioned, this is the first time Amiga games have been made available on the Evercade (previous collections used console ports of games like Sensible Soccer, Worms and Speedball 2), and we're very excited to see what other games come to the format in the future (note that you'll need to update your Evercade system to the latest firmware to run this cart).
The second Toaplan Arcade pack boasts shmup classics such as Hellfire, Twin Cobra and Twin Hawk, as well as the enjoyable platformer Wardner (famously ported to the Mega Drive back in the day). These games rub shoulders with some of Toaplan's lesser-known coin-ops, such as Rally Bike and Demon's World, and some of the games on this pack also support the Evercade EXP's 'TATE' mode.
Piko's Evercade cartridges have always been a rather eclectic bunch, thanks to the fact that the company has aggressively hoovered up IP from defunct firms over the past few years. The upshot is that there's a wide selection of forgotten classics in each pack, and this third collection is no exception. The most eye-catching entry is 40 Winks, a PlayStation 3D platformer developed by Eurocom in 1999. Visually, it's a cut above many of the other titles we've seen on the Evercade so far, and is joined by Zero Tolerance (a Mega Drive FPS), Punch King (a GBA boxing title very much like Punch-Out!!) and Sword of Sodan (a famous but rather poor Conan-style action-adventure). It's perhaps the least essential of the four new collections.
Once again, Blaze has outdone itself when it comes to the instruction manuals included with these packs; the Toaplan and Team17 ones, in particular, are stunning. Not only do they detail each game included on the cart, they also feature segments on the companies themselves, including an exclusive interview with Toaplan founding member Masahiro Yuge. In an age where most Switch, PS5 and Xbox games don't even come with a user manual, the effort made here is very welcome indeed.
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