5 of our top strategy games on Evercade
Several hundred Evercade games are ready to play right now — and with each new cartridge release, more titles are added to the library!
With that in mind, we know that sometimes it can be a bit daunting to be confronted with such a vast number of choices, so every so often we’ll be highlighting 5 of our favourite titles in various different categories. These aren’t necessarily the five “best”, whatever that means — they’re simply five that we particularly like here at Blaze HQ, and we encourage you to talk about your own favourites via our social media channels!
This week, as the nights are getting darker and colder, we figured there’s nothing some of you would like more than a good, meaty game to sink your teeth into. And of all the video game genres out there, few are more meaty than strategy games. While they can sometimes take a bit more time to get up and running with than more immediately accessible arcade-style games, strategy games can be incredibly rewarding in the long term — with some offering potentially limitless gameplay thanks to sandbox setups or variable starting conditions.
So get your thinking cap on — there’s some big decisions to be made in 5 of our top strategy games on Evercade!
Hailing from the Namco Museum Collection 1 cartridge, Metal Marines is a 16-bit strategy game that can look a little daunting at first glance. To that end, we’ve previously published an Evercade Game Spotlight article on this title that should help get you up and running quickly!
You’ll doubtless quickly discover that Metal Marines is one of the most accessible and enjoyable strategy games on Evercade once you have the basics sorted. At heart, it draws a lot of ideas from the classic pen and paper game Battleship, in that a significant part of succeeding in the game comes from uncovering hidden information about your opponent. Much like in Battleship, you start by blindly firing missiles at where you think your opponent might be hiding, then deduce what to do next based on what you discover.
Unlike Battleship, however, in Metal Marines you have big stompy walking death machines to send in after your missiles have done the preliminary work — as well as anti-air defensive systems you can deploy to scupper your opponent’s attempts to discover your whereabouts. Combine all that with some excellent 16-bit presentation — including some lovely anime-style cutscenes — and you have a real winner that will keep you busy for quite some time.
Canon: Legends of the New Gods
Coming to us from the Piko Interactive Collection 1 cartridge, Canon is a 16-bit strategy RPG that will be familiar to those who grew up with similar games on classic home consoles. This one will likely be new to many of you, however, as back on its original 1996 release, it was only available in Taiwan; the English translation we have on Evercade came much later.
Developed by Chuanpu Technologies, the same team behind one of our favourite RPGs Brave Battle Saga, Canon eschews the conventional RPG formula in favour of focusing entirely on tactical battles. Rather than combat being somewhat abstracted as in many other RPGs, in Canon you’ll have to both move your units around the battlefield and give them orders to perform various actions such as attacking foes and making use of their unique special abilities.
It’s a challenging game, for sure, with many encounters demanding that you play very carefully indeed. But if you enjoy the blend of RPG stat-building and tactical combat that is such a distinctive part of the strategy RPG subgenre, Canon is a great game to spend some time with.
Being a popular part of the Codemasters Collection 1 cartridge for Evercade, Mega-lo-Mania is an influential game that still holds up well today. On its original release, it was one of the earliest examples of what we would come to know as the real-time strategy or RTS genre, and part of a trend for so-called God games, which placed the player in an omniscient role overseeing the action, influencing how things unfold rather than controlling everything directly. Don’t worry, though; your subjects are always keen to let you know how they’re doing through Mega-lo-Mania’s widely beloved array of amusing digitised speech samples.
Mega-lo-Mania unfolds as a series of battle royale scenarios in which you need to ensure your followers are the last ones standing in a series of battles. To that end, you’ll need to build towers to house your subjects, research technologies with which they can both defend themselves and attack the enemy, and strategically deploy your forces to take control of the map. In later stages, you’ll also need to set up industry in order to ensure you have the raw materials required to construct the weapons and vehicles you need. You might even form temporary alliances with your opponents, then stab them in the back when they outlive their usefulness.
Mega-lo-Mania starts simple, with your early troops simply fighting with sticks and rocks. But the further you play, the further in time you advance — and that means more and more advanced technology to play with. Be wary, though; your opponents are busy researching new and exciting tools of destruction just as you are! And don’t forget to set at least a few troops aside for the Mother of All Battles, where everything will be decided once and for all!
Utopia: The Creation of a Nation
One of two excellent strategy games on the Gremlin Collection 1 cartridge, Utopia: The Creation of a Nation is a sci-fi colony-building simulator that takes a sandbox approach. That is to say, there’s no way to “win” Utopia definitively; you can simply play for as long as you like until you meet your own self-set goals, or until you decide you want to try doing things a bit differently under different initial starting circumstances. That gives Utopia potentially limitless replayability!
In Utopia, you’re in charge of a fledgling space colony, and it’s up to you to invest wisely in the infrastructure required to keep everyone happy, safe and healthy. While there is a light combat element to the game thanks to the alien races also attempting to colonise the planets you’ve landed on, the majority of your time will be spent managing your finances, listening to your advisors and attempting to anticipate any potential problems before they arise.
Don’t be put off if your initial efforts in Utopia seem to go disastrously wrong — this is a game about experimentation, learning from your mistakes and trying new things. With Evercade’s save game facility, you can easily keep “bookmarks” of your efforts if you want to return to an earlier stage of development — but part of the fun of Utopia is inadvertently getting yourself into a real mess and then figuring out how to get yourself back out of it again.
Premier Manager 97
And the last of our favourite strategy games on Evercade also comes from the Gremlin Collection 1 cartridge, making that cart a great deal for those who like more cerebral games. Premier Manager 97 is a 16-bit home console take on a legendary series of soccer management simulations — but don’t run away screaming if you’re not a sports fan. While at least a passing interest in football will help you enjoy Premier Manager 97 more, it’s by no means essential — because at heart this is a strategy game that is all about management.
In fact, some even compare games like Premier Manager 97 to RPGs — they’re both about stats and training, as well as making good use of your money to set yourself up as well as possible for the upcoming challenges. The difference, of course, is that instead of sending your troops into battle, you’re sending them onto the football pitch. Plus your average RPG party generally doesn’t have to worry too much about things like sponsorship.
Premier Manager 97 and games like it are notorious for devouring hours upon hours of time for those who really get into them, making them particularly ideal to take on the go with you via Evercade handhelds. While there’s a bit of a learning curve here for those who are less familiar with the sport, there’s potentially limitless enjoyment with this one as you strive to take increasingly unlikely teams to the very top of the league tables!
So that’s 5 of our top strategy games on Evercade — now it’s over to you! What are your favourite strategy games on Evercade? Stop by on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or Discord and come tell us all about your top picks!
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