Toaplan may be most famous today for its range of horizontal and vertical shmups, but the company has a proud history of dabbling in other genres, as this collection for the Evercade family of systems attests.
Even so, it's shooters which take up the lion's share of space on this eight-game cartridge, with the likes of Tiger Heli, Slap Fight / Alcon, Flying Shark, Zero Wing and Truxton / Tatsujin offering perhaps the most compelling reason to make a purchase.
These games are excellent and massively influential in their own way; Slap Fight's power-up system was way ahead of its time, and Tiger Heli's enemy AI remains fearsome, even by modern standards. Truxton and Flying Shark are two of the most iconic vertically-scrolling shmups of all time (and, like Slap Fight, really benefit from the Evercade EXP's TATE mode), while Zero Wing – aside from being an excellent game – is notable for spawning the 'All Your Base' meme (although that amusing intro is exclusive to the Mega Drive port, and not this coin-op version).
Also included here is the Bubble Bobble-like single-screen platformer Snow Bros., which is every bit as enjoyable as Taito's seminal arcade smash. Teki Paki is an excellent take on the 'falling block' puzzler that isn't perhaps as well known as it should be; in fact, it might end up taking up more of your time than you imagine. Finally, we have 1986's Guardian (also known as Get Star), a rather basic side-scrolling action title which is fun in short bursts but is perhaps the least essential game on the whole cart.
If you're not a fan of shmups, then you might struggle to get maximum enjoyment from this cart, but fans of the genre – and Toaplan in particular – will be in heaven.