Monday 9 November 2020

Interplay Collection 1 (Evercade Review)

Interplay are a company whose golden age came during the 16 bit era where innovative, fun and iconic games seemed to be spilling out of the company one after the other. The first Evercade collection from the company brings two of their most well-known characters together along with four other games in a small but interesting group.

The filler on this cartridge comes in the form of Titan and Battel Chess. Titan is a potentially interesting but slow and clunky puzzle game where you have to deflect a ball around room removing blocks. It’s a bit like Arkanoid with the twist that the reflector can be moved anywhere and the only way that you can lose a ball is if it hits one of the dangerous spots around the room. Battle Chess is a really poor rendition of chess. The whole thing moves so slowly that it becomes tiresome after only a few moves. The sequences are nothing special either and most players will leave it to gather dust very quickly.

The inclusion of Incantation is interesting as it was one of the last games released on the SNES and as such commands a crazy price to get hold of a legitimate cartridge. Unfortunately, the game itself is really quite poor with it being a very basic and simplistic platformer. That said, it’s still nice to experience something so highly sought after and offering these types of hard to get titles is a good route for the Evercade to go down in the future.

The highlight of the package is unquestionably Earthworm Jim. The character is so iconic that it spawned its own cartoon series and toy line and still remains firmly imbedded in every retro gamers mind. Apart from the severe difficult the action platformer remains a joy to play and the innovation and humour still shine through to show just why so many people fell in love with it in the first place. This is the Mega Drive version as well which means all the levels are included (as the SNES version strangely lost one).

Jim is backed up by another fairly well known oddity from the 16 bit age in Boogerman. Another game that is a touch pricey, it has our hero jumping through a snot and toilet inspired world taking out enemies by flicking boogers, belching and breaking wind. If that all sound disgusting, don’t worry it’s meant to be. The game handles a little loose compared to Earthworm Jim but there’s a lot of enjoyment to be had and like it’s slightly more iconic stable mate it just does things that little bit differently from your everyday platformer.

The package is rounded out with Clayfighter which is a 2d Street Fighter clone that takes the unusual approach of having the look of a clay made stop motion animation. At its core the action is quite generic but the look and characters help to add some charm and replay value which will probably see you dip into it every now and again.

Overall, the first Interplay collection is an easy recommendation. Earthworm Jim is a classic, Boogerman is very enjoyable and Clayfighter is a nice distraction. The novelty of Incantation is welcome as well and in terms of value you can’t get much better than this for £14.99. Getting the games on their original system would set you back an awful lot more than that. In our view it’s worth it for Earthworm Jim alone with everything else as a glorious bonus. A great collection.

Game Ratings

Earthworm Jim 5/5

Boogerman 4/5

Clay Fighter 3/5

Incantation 2/5

Titan 3/5

Battle Chess 2/5

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