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The Evercade Outpost!
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Pengling Feb 21
If you don't know what an Evercade is where have you been?!, it's a Linux-based retro-focussed games-console platform that launched in 2020, which offers a number of different types of hardware which all run games from a line of curated cartridges. These cartridges almost always contain multiple games, and cover actual retro games along with retro-styled indie releases - 1970s/1980s/1990s retro is basically the condition of being allowed on the platform at all. Though there are a few native titles (curiously including some indies, such as Donut Dodo, which do not have Linux builds on Steam) the vast majority are emulated games - often including indie games that are made for retro consoles.

The hardware is primarily handheld-based, with there always being a flagship horizontally-oriented Evercade handheld (with the current one also offering a dedicated TATE mode setup for vertical games), plus a multiplayer-focussed home-console with four controller-ports, fittingly known as the Evercade VS. There's also now the budget-friendly Super Pocket line from sister-brand Hyper Mega Tech!, which are vertically-oriented handhelds that contain built-in retro games from a single company per handheld, but which can also run Evercade cartridges.

So, with that out of the way, since the Evercade is a Linux-based gaming platform, I just wanted to make a dedicated thread for it here on GOL, and here it is.

In keeping with my love for portable devices, which was primarily influenced by growing up with the Game Boy line, my Evercade hardware of choice is a Taito Super Pocket, and I've already picked up a bunch of cartridges that're right up my alley. Some of them contain games unavailable on Steam, GOG, or Itch.io, since certain titles (particularly arcade ones) are currently tied up on consoles and the Microsoft Store and aren't more widely-available than that, leaving the Evercade as the only licensed way to play some of them on any sort of Linux system.



My favourite cartridges so far have proven to be Data East Arcade 1 (which includes titles like Burger Time, Lock 'n' Chase, Sly Spy, and Tumblepop, amongst others), Jaleco Arcade 1 (where the headliner for me is, without a doubt, Rod Land, but it's also a really well-rounded look at arcade games of that era in general), and Sunsoft Collection 1 (which has the only Bomberman game on the Evercade platform so far, in the form of Blaster Master Boy, which is in fact Bomber King Scenario 2, part of a spin-off branch of the Bomberman series, and also offers a really good selection of hard-to-find titles). I also quite like Gremlin Collection 1, but that's honestly a mixed bag of a cartridge - I got it mainly for Zool, but will probably try Hardcore 4x4 as well, though the rest aren't for me.


I'm also really impressed by how the manuals include facts that relate to preserving information, even when they run contrary to how a provided game is being marketed, such as in this example from the Sunsoft Collection 1 manual, referring to Blaster Master Boy: "Fact: Blaster Master Boy wasn't a sequel to Blaster Master in Japan; it's actually a follow-up to a spin-off of the popular Bomberman series!".

Anyone else have or considering any of the Evercade hardware? Are you looking forward to future Evercade re-releases like the Nintendo 64 version of once-popular 3D-platformer Glover? Got any favourite cartridges? Hoping for revised consoles with particular features? Anything else? Please share!
What???....... What is this???....... you bought a device you cant play Bomberman on????.... You can try and fool us all you want with that fake Bomberman in the photo....... So who are you and what have you done with the real Pengling???.......

Joking aside......
The device does look nice and solid...... I was worried about the dpad but im glad thats ok........ And I do like the idea of the Evercade..... Lets hope it keeps getting better and better....... And hopefully it will get some real Bomberman games soon enough for you......
Pengling Feb 23
I had some fantastic luck yesterday! I swung by the local branch of CeX (I'm lucky enough to have a good one around here), and found an Evercade cartridge that I was after - Jaleco Collection 1, which is a NES and SNES compilation;



It was in as-new condition and cost £12 (the new price is £17.99), and even still had the unused poster in the box. It includes 10 games, so that's £1.20 per game - you couldn't even get the original NES and SNES cartridges for that money!

Quoting: StoneColdSpiderWhat???....... What is this???....... you bought a device you cant play Bomberman on????.... You can try and fool us all you want with that fake Bomberman in the photo....... So who are you and what have you done with the real Pengling???.......
Hey, Blaster Master Boy/Blaster Master Jr./Bomber King Scenario 2 is totally a real Bomberman game! (And quite a challenging one at that, because you basically have to save as many Lantern items as possible for later stages of the game that take place in the dark - and you're never clued in by the game until it's way too late!)

Quoting: StoneColdSpiderJoking aside......
The device does look nice and solid...... I was worried about the dpad but im glad thats ok........ And I do like the idea of the Evercade..... Lets hope it keeps getting better and better.......
I'm really liking what I've been seeing between late 2023 and early 2024, so far - the Super Pockets really are a strong offering for their price-point and build-quality (I'm looking forward to seeing what others might show up - and if that's how we get a Bomberman collection I'd be fine with that!), and the cartridges released over the last few months and the ones scheduled until April are all pretty interesting.

Quoting: StoneColdSpiderAnd hopefully it will get some real Bomberman games soon enough for you......
I would love that. I'm really hoping for a Bomberman collection, I really am - honestly that would push me into picking up the Evercade VS home-console with the four controller-ports, as well. If that's a no-go (though to be fair, Konami isn't totally awful at keeping old games in circulation, and I'm sure they'd be open to it since these guys even managed to get Capcom on-board), I'd be happy to see Bomberland turn up on one of their Commodore 64 collections, though!
Mezron Feb 23
Is this something that I can pick up and play without going online at all?

Last edited by Mezron on 23 February 2024 at 12:06 pm UTC
Pengling Feb 23
Quoting: MezronIs this something that I can pick up and play without going online at all?
For the most part, yep. The flagship handheld and home-console units can be updated by connecting them to the internet, though the Super Pockets can't be, and all of them have to be compatible with the cartridges as they come, and so far it seems that they never assume that any given user who can update a unit is actually doing so.

I wrote a review of the Taito Super Pocket recently, where I mentioned a few caveats about that (namely that there are a couple of games that don't run on the Super Pocket machines), but yeah, you could easily buy an Evercade-compatible device and not update it and get the intended experience, it feels like so far. That was actually one of the reasons why I went for a Super Pocket.

It's really neat (not to mention somewhat nostalgic) to be able to go into a shop, come out with a cartridge, and put it straight in the machine and start playing immediately with no fuss!

Last edited by Pengling on 23 February 2024 at 12:27 pm UTC
Mezron Feb 23
[quote=Pengling]
Quoting: MezronIt's really neat (not to mention somewhat nostalgic) to be able to go into a shop, come out with a cartridge, and put it straight in the machine and start playing immediately with no fuss!

My partner and I would be super grateful if we picked this up and just started playing without having to do more work.
Pengling Feb 24
Quoting: MezronMy partner and I would be super grateful if we picked this up and just started playing without having to do more work.
There's a lot of good coverage of the current state of the Evercade ecosystem on YouTube - it was a helpful part of my research into whether I wanted to jump in. Definitely check it out!
Pengling 4 days ago
They've just announced revised (and, pleasingly, cheaper) new editions of the flagship handheld and home Evercade consoles, known as the Evercade EXP-R and the Evercade VS-R, along with a new slightly-higher-priced cartridge format known as the Giga Cart, which is intended for re-releasing disc-based retro titles and also bringing larger modern indie games to the Evercade, with standard releases not using this format confirmed to remain at the original price-point. With the new reveals, they're also discontinuing the current Evercade EXP and Evercase VS, with the current stocks of those being the last.

Last edited by Pengling on 16 April 2024 at 1:41 pm UTC
damarrin 4 days ago
It seems the 2 Namco carts won’t work on the new hardware. A bit insane, that.
Pengling 4 days ago
Quoting: damarrinIt seems the 2 Namco carts won’t work on the new hardware. A bit insane, that.
Agreed! They don't work on some of the current hardware, either - the licensing for them short-sightedly only applied to the original handheld almost half-a-decade ago, and apparently that was a problem when the home version was introduced a year-and-a-half later. They've never sorted it out, and I have a tough time believing that Namco is too fussy about it, since they tend to release their retro stuff everywhere.

Last edited by Pengling on 17 April 2024 at 12:10 pm UTC
damarrin 3 days ago
Interesting shortsightedness considering these are 20+ yo games.
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