I thoroughly enjoyed the first collection of modern indie games made for retro consoles yet Mega Cat Studios Collection 2 is even better.
A year ago, I got my hands on a couple of physical Genesis games from Mega Cat Studios and to my surprise and delight; they're both featured in this collection. You can read my full reviews for them via the links below this paragraph but first, allow me to summarize why I love these games so much. Arkagis Revolution is a shooter where you rotate your ship with 2 buttons and shoot with the third. It takes a little while to get used to this but the resulting formula is a ton of fun, especially when you factor in the large stages to explore. Throw in voice acting and epic boss fights and you're left with a top-notch 16-bit indie. However, you can't swap weapons on the fly in the Evercade version which is kind of a bummer. Meanwhile, Gluf is a simple arcade-style game where you try to light up tiles by hopping on them. Avoiding enemies while trying not to run out of energy makes it quite a challenge and I loved trying to master every level.Arkagis Revolution Review Gluf Review
List of games in Mega Cat Studios Collection 2
- Alter Ego: DreamWalker
- Arkagis Revolution
- Devwill Too
- Romeow And Julicat
- Roniu's Tale *
* NES game; the others are Genesis games
Before moving on to the bulk of the featured titles which are puzzle-filled adventure games, I wanted to discuss a couple of games that aren't all that fun. To be fair, Roniu's Tale isn't complete as of writing this and it will be updated in the next Evercade firmware patch so I'm looking forward to seeing if it's a good game whenever that happens. For now, you just run on a grid-based floor that collapses and hope you can make it to the next level. There are nifty abilities like hover and fireballs to utilize and I can see it being an okay game with some much-needed fine-tuning. The other game is Devwill Too which is a 2D platformer where you jump and slide into enemies. It's quite rough around the edges, especially when you move to the next room because if you're holding the D-pad for even a little bit, you'll end up falling off a ledge and biting the dust. Even if it wasn't annoying like this, it's still an overly simplistic and unchallenging game.
Finally, Mega Cat Studios Collection 2 is bursting with old-school puzzle-filled adventure games so let's dive in! Alter Ego: DreamWalker is an incredibly clever game where you simultaneously control yourself and a hollow clone. Figuring out how to work past patrolling enemies and carefully navigate to each collectible as your solid self is a ton of fun. Misplaced is a similar game in that you must warp to platforms within overhead stages yet it gets more complicated because you do so by recording your movements then playing them back. So, you can imagine how noodle-scratching some of the levels get. It's not as mind-blowing as Induction which I reviewed on Switch recently, though, and it can sometimes feel a bit tedious because some stages require many steps but it's rewarding once you make progress.
Next up, Romeow And Julicat is a simple puzzle game where you place tile-based shapes onto a grid which disappear when you complete rows and columns. Upon setting a certain amount, you'll see a little scene and move on to the next stage. It's an easy-breezy game that's great to wind down with. Last but certainly not least, Yazzie is an arcade-style 2D action game that plays a lot like the late Doug Smith's classic Lode Runner. Moving around the intricate stages while carefully digging to floors beneath you in order to collect every piece of treasure is a ton of fun. Just make sure you don't accidentally trap yourself and you'll be in for a good time!
Out of the first 20 Evercade cartridges, I must say that I had the best time with Mega Cat Studios Collection 2. Its assortment of clever puzzle-based games is fantastic and the wonderful shooter Arkagis Revolution is the icing on the cake.
- + Contains many puzzle-filled adventures that are excellently-crafted and highly enjoyable
- + Arkagis Revolution is a top-notch shooter
- + Gluf offers well-balanced arcade-style fun
- - A couple of the games aren't up to snuff
- - Could use a bit more variety