Evercade EXP Review: A Retro Mini Console With a Twist

Evercade EXP Review: A Retro Mini Console With a Twist

There have been a ton of retro gaming mini consoles a number of yrs ago, a pattern which light away shortly after the worldwide pandemic started. Recall the NES Classic, the Sega Genesis Mini, and even the Turbografx 16 Mini? There are still approaches to engage in retro online games: tons of them, in actuality. The Nintendo Swap has a bunch. There are compilations like the stellar Atari 50. There are gaming handhelds that enjoy older sport cartridges. And then you can find the Evercade EXP.

The second-gen edition of the Evercade is a handheld especially built to play all set-designed cartridge compilations of retro game titles. The Evercade EXP can also plug right into TVs utilizing an HDMI mini cable, properly turning into a mini console. 

But my most loved factor about the EXP is how it flips into a vertical method to enjoy vertical-orientation, or “TATE,” arcade game titles. It handles that in a way that’s so uncomplicated, it truly is bizarre that much more handhelds you should not do this. (The Nintendo Switch permits for TATE game modes, but it is dependent on each and every person game’s aid.)


  • Retro match handheld flips into vertical manner
  • Dozens of retro cartridges
  • 18 Capcom online games included
  • Connects to Tv set with mini HDMI

Never Like

  • Some major recreation publishers not existing
  • Feels a little bit pricey
  • No downloadable recreation store yet

The Evercade EXP is chunky. It is really near to the measurement of a PlayStation Vita (remember that 1?), but it really is scaled-down than a Nintendo Swap Lite. It could be jacket-pocketed, probably. The handheld comes studded with most of the buttons that 8- and 16-little bit online games require: four buttons on 1 side, two on the other upcoming to a d-pad that all get the job done collectively in vertical manner. There are dual shoulder button-triggers on each individual side.

The back of the Evercade EXP handheld and its cartridge slot, with two cartridges near it

The Evercade EXP utilizes cartridges that have game compilations. Some game titles are also preinstalled.

Scott Stein/CNET

Not like a ton of smaller handhelds that can also be modded to operate emulations, the Evercade EXP is strictly designed to perform the system’s possess cartridges. There are a few dozen that the Evercade EXP has to opt for from, costing about $25 for each multigame cartridge. There are collections of classics from Namco, Atari, Data East, Interaction and even additional obscure sources. There are a great deal of lacking firms, nevertheless: Konami is a no-exhibit, and do not anticipate Sega (or, obviously, Nintendo). But there are surprising compilations of Atari Lynx (I ultimately acquired to perform Blue Lightning!), Commodore 64, Intellivision and Amiga video games, and Evercade splits its cartridge collections up involving console-dependent and arcade-primarily based classics.

The $150 Evercade EXP does throw in some tempting extras. The method has 18 Capcom arcade and console game titles designed in, and it is a wonderful combine. You get Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Strider, Avenue Fighter II: Hyper Combating and Mega Gentleman video games. You can find also an included compilation arcade cartridge of video games from vintage activity publisher Irem with 6 other video games like R-Type, In The Hunt and Moon Patrol. The arcade games come to feel fantastic, and the vertical TATE modes when out there open up a ton far more monitor place on the 4.3-inch monitor. There are also 5 more indie online games on the system, which can be unlocked with hidden codes.

Capcom game titles shown off on the screen of the Evercade EXP handheld

There are 18 preinstalled Capcom video games, and 5 additional hidden indie games to unlock.

Scott Stein/CNET

Theoretically, the Evercade EXP could obtain new video games by way of Wi-Fi, but that element won’t seem enabled however. The handheld’s computer software has been current since the unique Evercade, and the screen, when nevertheless being a fairly very low-res IPS Lcd display screen (800×480 pixels), is absolutely great for all the games it plays. The program charges by way of USB-C, and lasts plenty of hours for me to participate in until I get bored and do a little something else (about 4 several hours). There’s also a headphone jack.

I don’t imagine you can find more than enough gaming time in my lifestyle for the Evercade EXP to steal attention absent from the Nintendo Change (or the Panic Playdate), but I respect how this handheld delivers up so several shed treasures on the go. It really is type of a philosophical alternative to the Analogue Pocket, a good handheld that’s much more purely targeted on participating in initial Match Boy online games and replicating more mature hardware platforms. The Evercade EXP is a great plenty of arcade deal for anybody who truly loves vertical shoot em ups, even though. And hey, will a lot more gaming handhelds you should support vertical TATE mode at the press of a button like the Evercade EXP does? Thank you!