5 of our top platformers on Evercade

Written by Pete Davison

Tags EVERCADE, platformers

The Evercade platform plays host to a huge number of games now — and with each new cartridge release, more titles are added to the library!

We know that sometimes it can be a bit daunting to be confronted with such a vast number of games to play, so every so often we’ll be highlighting 5 of our favourite titles in various different categories.

Today it’s the turn of the platformer genre, which has taken many different forms over the years. Sometimes you’ll be battling it out against enemies on a single screen, sometimes you’ll be negotiating precision platforming challenges and sometimes you’ll be pushing onwards through scrolling levels in an attempt to reach a far-off destination. Sometimes you can’t even jump!

So let’s dive into this mainstay of retro gaming and pick out 5 of our top platformers on Evercade.

Rod Land

Released as part of the Jaleco Arcade 1 cartridge, Rod Land hails from 1990 and is one of our top platformers on Evercade. Casting one or two players in the role of the super-cute fairies Rit and/or Tam, it’s your job to ascend the “Maboots” tower in search of our heroines’ missing mother.

Rit and Tam can’t jump, but they are armed with the Rods of Sheesanomo and the Rainbow Shoes, gifts from their village elder. Using the former, they can stun enemies and then batter them repeatedly on the ground to defeat them, while the latter lets them create magical ladders out of thin air.

Rod Land is a single-screen “kill all the enemies” sort of affair, and it’s a great example of this platformer sub-genre from the arcades of the early ’90s. Don’t let the cutesy graphics deceive you, though — this game packs a stiff challenge, and once you’re done with the main quest, there’s a whole second tower to take on too!

Biomechanical Toy

If you like your run-and-gun platformers to be a bit on the deliriously odd side, Biomechanical Toy from the Gaelco Arcade 1 cartridge is one of the top platformers on Evercade. Cast in the role of the super-cool, super-tough and super-’90s hero Inguz, it’s your job to track down the criminal Scrubby and recover the magic pendulum that brings toys to life!

Biomechanical Toy was first released to arcades in 1995, and the Evercade version marks the first time it’s ever had an official home release. It’s a speedy, challenging and gleefully ridiculous romp through a variety of creative worlds — and a great example of the high-quality cult classics that Spanish arcade game publisher Gaelco put out in the ’90s.

As a game that originated in the arcades, you can expect plenty of challenges ahead of you in Biomechanical Toy, so don’t feel bad about using continues or save states. But once you think you’ve mastered the game, see if you can really prove your skill by clearing it in a single credit!

Prehistorik Man

The 16-bit home console era was a great time for fans of platformers. Prehistorik Man from the Interplay Collection 2 cartridge is one of our top platformers on Evercade. It’s a great example of the sort of creativity different developers brought to the table in the genre, featuring varied and interesting levels with a variety of objectives rather than simply tasking you with running from left to right.

Prehistorik Man is also part of an inexplicable ’90s trend for video games that starred cavemen. Perhaps all the highly flammable shell suits in the world were getting a bit much for game developers, and they were longing for simpler times when all you had to wear was a loincloth to cover your modesty.

Prehistorik Man was actually a later entry in a series of caveman-themed games that started on home computers. On its original release, it drew praise for its varied level objectives and amusing characterisation — plus how well those fun characters were integrated into the game itself. Today, it’s a solid 16-bit platformer that will keep you busy for a while!

Valis III

Telenet Japan’s Valis series is a fascinating one, as it’s one of several game series put out by the company that made a strong effort to tell a story as the player progressed. Valis III, which you can play on the Renovation Collection 1 cartridge, is a particularly strong example of this, chronicling the adventures of warrior girl Yuko as she wields the Valis sword in an attempt to protect Dreamland from the evil Glames.

It’s one of our top platformers on Evercade thanks to its multiple playable characters, impressive graphics, catchy music and strong sense of unfolding narrative. And for those who played the first Valis game on the Renovation Collection 1 cartridge and found it a bit easy, Valis III provides a much stronger challenge, too.

Valis III is a great example of what made the games from Telenet Japan and Renovation truly special — and with original copies of this game costing a pretty penny these days, the Evercade version is an affordable and convenient way to get to know Yuko and friends a bit better.


Rounding off the list of our top platformers on Evercade is Lowtek Games’ excellent Flea!, which you can play as part of the Indie Heroes Collection 1 cartridge. This is a precision platformer that tasks you with negotiating a series of perilous levels while collecting vials of blood and avoiding various sharp pointy things. There’s a twist, though: our hero Henry can’t stop jumping!

Flea! features a series of challenging single-screen stages in which all you need to do is get to the exit point. That’s easier said than done, of course, thanks to Henry’s hyperactive nature and some truly devious level design. And just when you think you might have mastered that, the game’s hairy, stinky bosses will challenge you to some forced-scrolling platforming that will really test your flea-handling skills!

Fans of Flea! will also be happy to note that its follow-up Tapeworm Disco Puzzle will be part of the upcoming Indie Heroes Collection 2 cartridge set for release later this year — so don’t worry if you missed out on this fun puzzler as part of the Evercade VS Game of the Month programme.

So that’s 5 of our top platformers on Evercade — now it’s over to you! What are your favourite platformers on Evercade? Stop by on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or Discord and come tell us all about your top picks!


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