The launch of the Evercade VS was accompanied by four collections of arcade games, which were all well worth picking up.

The Technos Arcade 1 collection contained some true classics, along with some forgotten titles that were great to discover – the weird old arcade game Minky Monkey being a great example of a title I’d never heard of, but became pretty addicted to thanks to its inclusion on this cartridge.

Next up was the Data East Arcade 1 collection, the standouts on which were Tumblepop, Sly Spy and the excellent arcade version of Bad Dudes Vs DragonNinja (previously available on an Evercade Data East cartridge in its very underwhelming NES form (see my review for more details).

The third cartridge was Gaelco Arcade 1, with every game being completely new to me. Six eclectic and obscure games; not all killer, but all definitely interesting and worth checking out. It’s this kind of collection that truly intrigues me the most and I’m glad to have it from a preservation point of view. These games were pretty much lost in the mists of time, so it’s awesome to see them get a second lease on life.

Despite the age of most of the games in the final collection – Atari Arcade 1 – there’s an excellent mix of truly iconic titles such as Pong and Missile Command, alongside slightly more obscure games such as Skydiver and Warlords (the latter of which takes advantage of the four player options on the Evercade VS).

It’s been a while since those four cartridges were released – and I was beginning to wonder if we’d see any more arcade collections released for the console. Thankfully, that question has been positively answered today – with the announcement of two new arcade game collections, compatible with both the Evercade and Evercade VS.

Jaleco – who made quite a name for themselves in the 8 and 16-bit eras with some excellent, often underrated console releases – are the developers/publishers responsible for all of the games on the first collection. Once again, Evercade are admirably not taking the obvious route and packing the collection full of more recognisable titles; though a few of the games on the cartridge did receive home console conversions, many didn’t make it out of the arcade.

The games included are:

  • Rod Land
  • The Astyanax
  • Saint Dragon
  • 64th Street: A Detective Story
  • E.D.F. Earth Defence Force
  • Avenging Spirit
  • CyBattler
  • P-47: The Phantom Fighter

Beyond Rod Land, The Astyanax and E.D.F Earth Defence Force, I’m unfamiliar with the rest of these games – so it’ll be great to discover them for the first time when the collection is released in July.

More obscure titles from publisher Gaelco get a new chance to make a first impression with the second cartridge to be released in July. Included are the following:

  • Big Karnak
  • Maniac Square
  • Squash
  • TH Strikes Back: Thunder Hoop 2
  • Touch and Go
  • World Rally 2

Again, these are pretty much all titles I haven’t played before, though the first titles in the Thunder Hoop and World Rally titles are ones I’ve now played thanks to the first Gaelco Arcade collection.

Regardless, both collections are must haves for retro gamers, especially as many of these games have never been available outside of the arcade. From a game preservation perspective alone, Evercade truly should be applauded; taking into account how much it’d cost to acquire just one of these arcade games these days means that from a cost viewpoint, these cartridges are absolutely unbelievable value.

Both will be available to pre-order on the 31st of May, from Funstock.co.uk and other retailers.

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