Mega Cat Studios has published oodles of modern indies for old-school systems and here's a collection of 10 games from their library.
First, I'll talk about the 6 included 8-bit indies for NES. Almost Hero is a beat 'em up that was clearly inspired by River City Ransom and it's a fairly fun game although it's much more challenging than Technos' classic. In fact, I find that it's a noble effort but I much prefer River City Ransom which is actually featured on Technos Collection 1 for Evercade. Anyway, Multidude is a more original offering where you complete stages by guiding characters to goals. Different kinds of characters move and behave uniquely so trying to figure out the order of events can sometimes be tricky. I thoroughly enjoyed this game even if some of the levels are a bit tedious. Next, Super Painter is a 2D platformer where you try to colour all of the grey walls and floors by touching them while avoiding enemies and falling off. Its floaty and sometimes annoying controls actually work in its favour to create one frantic and fun arcade-style NES game.
List of games in Mega Cat Studios Collection 1
- Almost Hero
- Creepy Brawlers
- Coffee Crisis *
- Justice Duel
- Log Jammers
- Little Medusa *
- Old Towers *
- Super Painter
- Tanzer *
* Genesis game; the others are NES games
On the more competitive side of things, Creepy Brawlers plays a lot like Punch-Out!! but, again, the NES classic is much more enjoyable so I wonder why anyone would prefer Creepy Brawlers. A similar thing can be said for both Justice Duel which was inspired by Joust and Log Jammers which is an 8-bit interpretation of Windjammers. Both of those games are fun but considering the classics are better, playing them feels kind of redundant. Then again, Justice Duel features a pretty funny premise where you play as historical figures but its visuals are extremely chaotic and made me squint as I played. It's neat to see how indie devs tried to recreate these games, though.
It's on to the more modern games! First, my favourite game in this collection is Little Medusa which is a more action-oriented arcade-style take on Adventures of Lolo. In it, you can freeze enemies, materialize blocks, and push frozen enemies to form bridges. It's a great deal of fun and everything works together perfectly to create a challenging and consistently enjoyable stage-based campaign. Another game that I liked a lot was Old Towers which has you move characters around trap-filled towers as they automatically dash between surfaces. Collecting all of the coins in order to open the exits gets trickier as you progress and it's a fast-paced and super-fun game overall.
When it comes to 2D action, Tanzer plays a lot like Strider where you control a ballerina-turned-cyborg who slashes her way through the campaign. You can jump multiple times in a row and attacking is very satisfying but I found it to be a just above-average 16-bit action game with some admittedly cool boss fights. Last but not least, Coffee Crisis is a highly enjoyable and silly beat 'em up that feels like a long-lost Genesis game. I actually wrote a little review of it back in 2018 so you can read that if you want to learn more.Coffee Crisis Review
Mega Cat Studios Collection 1 is one of the best Evercade collections for the fact that it contains many well-done indies that do a solid job of recreating retro formulas. Not every game will appeal to everyone but what's here is refreshing nonetheless.
- + Most included games are quite good reinterpretations of retro formulas
- + Little Medusa is a great puzzler
- + I enjoyed Old Towers a lot
- - Some of the games simply aren't as fun as their inspirations
- - Justice Duel suffers from overly chaotic visuals