What is a Turbo Everdrive?
The Turbo Everdrive is a printed circuit board flash drive made by Krikzz (krikzz.com) for the NEC TurboGrafx and PC Engine consoles. Krikzz, a manufacturer from Ukraine, are already famous for their amazing array of flash carts available for almost every major console ever produced. These flash carts allow the use of modern memory cards in place of the original cartridges, and due to the small file sizes of the corresponding game ROMs, essentially means that you can access entire game libraries for your favourite console at the press of a joypad button. This particular Everdrive takes MicroSD cards up to 32Gb.
The Turbo ED is fitted with a switch to set for TurboGrafx or PC Engine depending upon what hardware you are plugging it into, this is important as the two consoles are made for different regions and their respective games normally would be region locked. With the Turbo ED, you can forget all that because no matter which console you have, the entire TurboGrafx and PC Engine game library is now available for you to play. The unit is also endowed with a handy reset button, something my TurboGrafx doesn’t have and making changing between games a whole lot easier.
Normally Krikzz Everdrives are housed in actual cartridges but as the Turbo ED replaces a HU-card and not a cartridge, this particular unit comes as a ‘naked’ printed circuit board. I actually quite like the look of it once inserted so this isn’t a real problem for me, but if you are worried about damage or static discharge, there are 3D printed covers available on the internet.
Using the Turbo Everdrive
My Krikzz Turbo Everdrive arrived just a few days after ordering from Retro Towers (retrotowers.co.uk) and I had already prepared my 8Gb Sandisk MicroSD card with appropriate ROM images (in this case .pce files). The card just needs to be formatted for FAT/FAT16 or FAT32 and ROMs copied over to it for it to function, very simple indeed. To use the Turbo ED, just plug it in, insert your MicroSD card carefully (face up), turn on the console and a very plain and simple on-screen menu lists your ROM files, and using your joypad you can then scroll through them. Directories can have a maximum of 220 items in them so if you have full ROM sets, I would recommend putting your games in alphabetical folders.
We think that Krikzz missed a trick by not including a save game feature on the Turbo ED, something the original consoles are denied due to the use of HU-cards and their obvious lack of onboard battery space. It would have been nice to have had this issue addressed finally.
Another fantastic bit of kit by Krikzz, easy to use and a must-have for any TurboGrafx/PC Engine owner. The ability to play the entire PCE library on my TurboGrafx is probably one of the highlights of my gaming life so far. Just a pity we still can’t save our games. For that reason alone we feel we can’t award the full 5 invaders.