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Current status as of July 2022?
Like many others, I assume, I'm confused by the whole retrorangepi/retropie/emulationstation situation and I'd like to get the links to the latest software in one place with the current status and maybe get a report from others out there what actually works currently so I can get some use out of this device. I really like the hardware form factor, and wouldn't mind if just a portion of it worked reliably.

The latest (final) base image is from 2020

On top of that the last fix from @AlexKidd is from Feb 2021

If I install those two pieces of software I'm up to date correct?
Is it safe or recommended to run apt-update?
There's a git repo here: is it of any use?

I've had good luck playing some of the games, but they usually lock up with a green screen or freeze after a little while but seem to work when I reboot the device. Is this the experience that others have had or are there some emulators which are better than others? Is this an overheating issue?

You have linked the "pro" Image for the joystick version. For the normal version you will need "RetrOrangePi_v4.3_Armbian_Retrostone2_bionic_dev_5.3.13_desktop_v3.img", else you will get a problem with the joystick setup on first boot.

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