Though most Evercade cartridge compilations have enough variety – and quality – in the games they include that there’s almost certainly something for everyone, the Technos Collection 1 is the first one that feels like that might not be the case.

Composed of basic beat ’em ups and a few oddball sports titles, the appeal for anyone excited by the Technos Collection 1 is likely to be nostalgia – almost all of the games here have aged badly.

Though Double Dragon is usually not a bad game, either in the arcade or its many ports, unfortunately the NES version – which is the one included – feels really lacking. It’s technically inept, with lots of flickering and a drab colour scheme that makes it feel really flat; as one of my favourite childhood games, I was most disappointed with this version of Double Dragon.

Its sequel – again, the NES version – is much better in every regard, though it’s still a game that feels a little monotonous to play these days. Likewise for Renegade, an even earlier scrolling beat ’em up – which just feels way too basic to be fun.

Super Double Dragon

SNES title Super Double Dragon is a massive technical improvement over those three games – as you’d expect in the move from 8-bit NES to 16-bit SNES – but despite some visual charm, its gameplay feels sluggish and the game itself isn’t especially well designed.

Sports titles Super Spike V’ball – a volleyball game – and mini-game tournament game Crash ‘n’ the Boys: Street Challenge did nothing for me, but I did find Super Dodge Ball to be fairly entertaining, despite a steep learning curve. Once you get your head around the timing of catching balls and trying to whack your opponents with them, it does have a certain charm. All three share a very similar look and feel in character design – which is also seen in the last (and best) game on the cartridge: River City Ransom.

River City Ransom

I remember the UK press absolutely lambasting River City Ransom – then known as ‘Street Gangs’ in PAL regions – upon release, but time has been kind to this beat ’em up. It’s a pretty impressively open, non-linear game with RPG elements, allowing you to improve your character as you progress. Not only does it have a great deal of depth – perhaps surprisingly so, considering its genre – but River City Ransom also has a real tongue in cheek sense of humour too.

Overall though, I was hugely disappointed with the Technos Collection 1 cartridge. Super Dodge Ball and River City Ransom are decent enough games, but I struggled to enjoy the others at all. Depending on when and how you first encountered the games in this collection, your mileage may vary hugely – but for me, this is the first Evercade collection that I’d struggle to recommend overall.

You can purchase the Technos Collection 1 cartridge from Amazon here.

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