You doubtless know that we’re big fans of the Evercade retro gaming platform here at Rice Digital, and we can’t wait to get our hands on the new Evercade VS console this November. It’s going to be great fun to revisit some retro classics and hidden gems on the big screen — particularly with the new system’s support for up to four players!
For the as-yet uninitiated, the Evercade is a system that features a collection of officially licensed retro games, released on collectible numbered cartridges. The initial version of the system, released just over a year ago, is a handheld unit that can connect to your TV and output at 720p with a mini-HDMI cable, but the Evercade VS is a standalone TV-connected console with full 1080p output, two cartridge slots, four USB controller ports that are compatible with third-party controllers and full compatibility with the handheld.
At the time of writing, there are 18 Evercade cartridges available for purchase, with at least another eight coming by the end of the year. Each Evercade cartridge contains between two and 20 games, ranging from Atari 2600 classics right up to today’s indie games developed for classic platforms — as well as some rather uncommon arcade gems and Japanese games that would cost you a fortune to collect on their original platforms.
If you’re interested in retro gaming for the games and not for collecting increasingly expensive pieces of plastic, the Evercade is a fantastic means of getting involved — and one which is officially licensed, too, so no pesky crises of conscience over whether or not you’re “allowed” to emulate old games.
With both existing Evercade fans and newcomers to the platform in mind, our friends at Funstock have put together a fantastic Evercade VS bundle that will kickstart your collection in style. For £229.99, you can get your hands on an Evercade VS home console with four wired controllers and ten cartridges, boasting a collection of 108 games between them.
If purchased separately, this lot would cost you about £270, so £229.99 is a very nice deal indeed, particularly since it includes most of the carts that will be available by the end of 2021 with the exception of Arcade Series 3 and 4 — the Gaelco and Atari arcade collections — and the Intellivision and Bitmap Brothers collections.
Let’s take a quick look at what you get in detail, then.
The Evercade VS
As noted above, the Evercade VS is a standalone, TV connected console that outputs video at 1080p — the first modern dedicated “mini” retro console to do so. With four controller ports that support both official Evercade VS controllers and numerous third-party solutions, you can enjoy both single and multiplayer action with supported games.
The dual cartridge slots allow you to plug two collections of games in at the same time — and recently the team at Evercade confirmed that there will be some secret unlockable Easter eggs (including playable games) for inserting certain combinations of cartridges!
The Evercade VS controllers are wired USB controllers based on the form factor of the Evercade handheld, which is comfortable to hold and has one of the best D-pads in recent memory.
Buttons are chunky and satisfying, and the VS features four shoulder buttons instead of the two the handheld offers, providing more control flexibility for the increasing number of games that originated on PlayStation that the platform is starting to offer.
Technos Arcade 1
This cartridge contains eight games, including Double Dragon II: The Revenge, Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone, The Combatribes, Block Out, Battle Lane! Vol. 5, Mania Challenge, Minky Monkey and Mysterious Stones.
While Technos are most well-known for their beat ’em ups — which are well-represented here — they also put out a variety of interesting and mechanically creative games as well, several of which can be enjoyed on this cart.
Data East Arcade 1
Ten games on this cart, including Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja, Breakthru, Burger Time, Chain Reaction (better known as Magical Drop these days), Dark Seal, Darwin 4078, Lock ‘n’ Chase, Sly Spy, Tumblepop and Wizard Fire.
There’s a really wide range of different experiences here, ranging from isometric hack-and-slash to frantic puzzling.
Atari Lynx Collection 1
13 games on this cartridge, including Scrapyard Dog, Basketbrawl, Super Asteroids/Missile Command, Awesome Golf, Crystal Mines II, CyberVirus, Dracula the Undead, Gordo 106, Ishido: The Way of Stones, Jimmy Connors Tennis, Loopz, Malibu Bikini Volleyball, MegaPak, Power Factor, Remnant, Super Sqweek and Xump.
These games are a combination of modern (well, 21st century) games for Atari’s underappreciated 16-bit handheld and some titles rescued from licensing hell by Songbird Productions. If you didn’t have a Lynx back in the day, this is a great way to discover some really interesting games.
Atari Lynx Collection 2
There’s eight games in this cartridge, all originally developed by Epyx. They include California Games, Todd’s Adventures in Slimeworld, Electrocop, Gates of Zendocon, Zarlor Mercenary, Blue Lightning, Chips Challenge and Checkered Flag.
These games are collectively regarded as some of the very best titles the Lynx had to offer, so this will be an essential part of your collection if you’re into the more obscure side of retro gaming.
Jaleco Collection 1
Ten games on this one, featuring Bases Loaded, Astyanax, Brawl Brothers, City Connection, Earth Defence Force, Super Goal! 2, Totally Rad, Rival Turf, Operation Logic Bomb and Ignition Factor.
While a lot of these aren’t the most well-known games in retro gaming, that’s part of the beauty of Evercade — it brings attention and love to some great titles that don’t tend to get the acknowledgement they deserve. The top-down blasting of Operation Logic Bomb and the firefighting action of Ignition Factor are particular highlights.
Piko Interactive Collection 2
This sports-centric collection boasts 13 games and is ideal for the Evercade VS’ multiplayer functionality. The games on offer include Power Football, Hoops: Shut Up and Jam, Hoops: Shut Up and Jam 2, Summer Challenge, Winter Challenge, Brutal Sports Football, Eliminator Boat Duel, Full Throttle All-American Racing, Top Racer 2, Soccer Kid, Football Madness, World Trophy Soccer and Racing Fever.
Honestly, this collection is worth it just for Top Racer 2 but you might be surprised just how enjoyable some of those other games are, too — especially with friends.
Indie Heroes Collection 1
A real jewel in the Evercade library, this collection of 14 games consists entirely of modern indie titles that have been written for classic retro platforms. It includes Ploid, Uchusen, Kubo 3, Super Homebrew War, Flea, Chain Break, Quest Arrest, Twin Dragons, Doodle World, Foxyland, Debtor, Deadeus, Alien Cat 2 and Anguna.
Whether you’re in the mood for some fast action platforming or some well-crafted 8-bit RPGs, there’s something for everyone on this cart.
Worms Collection 1
If ever there was an Evercade cart made for the VS, it’s this one; featuring both the original Worms and Worms Armageddon as well as the Game Boy Advance puzzle game spinoff Worms Blast, this cart is packed with hours of both solo and multiplayer fun.
If you’ve not come across Worms before, for many years it was the benchmark of pass-and-play turn-based multiplayer warfare — more recent versions actually still enjoy a lively online community to this day, and it’s cracking fun gathered around the TV with friends.
Codemasters Collection 1
One of the most diverse and interesting collections on the platform, Codemasters Collection 1 brings together 17 games, including Codemasters’ classic unlicensed NES releases, along with the very best of Sensible Software’s offerings.
Sensible Soccer will doubtless be a fixture in many players’ Evercade VS units for its multiplayer joy, while solo players will find hours of fun in strategy legend Mega-Lo-Mania and Cannon Fodder.
Mega Cat Studios Collection 2
Another collection based around modern games for classic platforms, the Mega Cat Studios Collection 2 cartridge includes Alter Ego Dreamwalker, Arkagis Revolution, DevWill Too, Gluf, Misplaced, Romeow and Julicat, Roniu’s Tale and Yazzie.
Some of the very best, most playable modern indie titles can be found on this cart — and with the Evercade VS you can enjoy ’em on your TV.
The Evercade VS Mega Bundle is available exclusively from Funstock for £229.99. Click here to preorder – the release date is November 3, 2021.
Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on them. This is at no additional cost to you and helps support Rice Digital!
- The Rice Digital Friday Letters Page, November 26, 2021 – Backed right up - November 26, 2021
- Drizzlepath: Deja Vu takes us on a contemplative nature walk - November 26, 2021
- 10 of the best sexy games from the Steam Autumn Sale - November 26, 2021