Indie Heroes Collection 2 is the 37th cartridge released for the Evercade-platform since its inception in 2020. Out of the 37 to date, 28 have been in the Home/Indie series, eight in the arcade-series, and one Home Computer series. The collectors among the Evercade owners (and there are a lot of you out there) will view this release as a core staple and will have pre-ordered the cartridge without a doubt. However, if you look at it from a gameplay or value-for-money angle, you could be of the opinion that Indie Heroes Collection 2 may not be worth it.
With the knowledge that many games announced on Indie Heroes 2 were very common among the “Game of the Month” selections of the VS Console since its launch. So as a result, I’m very curious if this release will still hold up to its $/€ 20 pre-order investment. Apart from the usual collector’s FOMO, that is. For starters, there are 12 games in this cartridge. That’s about average for a normal cartridge, but down from 14 from on Indie Heroes 1. However that is a bit misleading as there are technically 16 titles with each as there are two “trilogies” in this set – The Cowlitz Gamers’ Adventure and Gruniozerca series counting as three titles each.
The titles on the cart are mostly puzzlers. Sadly most in that category are lackluster and will make you want to turn them off within a few minutes. With that said, there is at least one that I personally loved – Tapeworm Disco Puzzle, which is a spinoff of Flea. In TDP’s nonsensical story you are a tapeworm that is the owner of a ‘flea-nightclub’. Yeah…. Apart from entertaining your ‘guests’ your primary job is to stop the fleas from killing themselves by keeping them away from trouble, pits, spikes, and other obstacles. With your limited body length and limited angles of approach, it is not an easy task at all. It is extremely well balanced and definitely worth playing.
There are plenty of titles on here that should not have been and make this collection a bit convoluted. like Beer Slinger. A total Tapper ripoff with the only different gimmick being you can actually serve the wrong brand of beer. The premise of the game is very poorly done and is not worth the addition. Both ‘trilogies’ are nearly as bad as the puzzlers. The get grating and the pacing is very slow. The role playing games like Anguna in this set are great, but also suffer from a slow start. It plays much better than another side-scrolling RPG in the set, Eyra, the Crow Maiden. Another poor pick for the collection which messes with the pace and theme of this set.
Of the two ‘Game Boy-esk’ games Gelatinous is quite horrible, but the second one, Lunar Journey is quite a quirky and fun puzzler. In a way it is a comical relief to most of the other games mentioned. Nessy The Robot, Nix, and Reknum are medicore to good titles with both a mix of platform or puzzle elements. Yeah Yeah Beebiss II is an odd, beat the clock game, where you take out hordes of ‘evil enemies’ and prove your ‘spiritual power’. The game’s prequel is a bit of an enigma it seems. The cart’s manual states: “No-one seems to know the real story behind Yeah Yeah Beebiss. The most popular theories are that it was a copyright trap, a placeholder title, an inside joke, or a mistranslation of an unlocalised Japanese 8-bit game’s name”. Yeah Yeah Beebiss II bases its aesthetic on a Japanese game known as Rai Rai Kyonshi’s Baby Kyonshi no Amida Daibouken, which rather nice looking cyan-centric NES graphics. The game has some difficulty balancing issues and has pretty boring and monotonous ‘Kungfu like’ gameplay. Either way, Yeah Yeah Beebiss II is definitely the black sheep in this set of puzzlers and role playing games for the most part.
I personally give this collection a 5.5 out of 10. It is probably the worst of the 37 cartridges released to date. I personally hope that Indie Heroes 3, when it is released in February 2024 reportedly, is much better than this selection we’ve got here. It is worth the $20US price tag that it came out for, but barely by the skin of its teeth. That is saying something. Nearly every other cartridge so far has been worth the asking price and then some. Even when some of the cartridges have only two games in them.
Stay tuned for for reviews of the 38th and 39th cartridges (Toaplan Arcade Collection 2 [Arcade Cartridge #9] andThe C64 Collection 2 [Home Computer #2]) which will release on April 28th or just after.
It is probably the least interesting of the 37 cartridges released to date. I personally hope that Indie Heroes 3, when it is released in February 2024 reportedly, is better than this inconcise and mediocre selection we've got here. It is worth the $20US price tag that it came out for, but by the skin of its teeth.
- Overall game quality
- collection value