Evercade EXP Review – Retro Bliss Reborn

For retro gaming fans who love physical media but are gobsmacked by the price of old carts, the Evercade brand has fulfilled a nostalgic dream over the past two-plus years. With a pick-up-and-play mentality, a growing library of carts filled with officially licensed retro console and arcade games, and multiple hardware iterations, the Evercade has found its niche in an increasingly popular market. The Evercade EXP, an updated version of the original handheld, is the best Evercade yet. If you’re interested in 8- and 16-bit console and arcade games, the Evercade EXP offers a fantastic way to play physical cartridge collections in a portable form factor.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Evercade, it first debuted in 2020 as a budget-friendly handheld with cartridge play. Each cartridge, which goes for $20 a pop, has a collection of authentic classic games. There are collections based on old platforms like the Atari Lynx and Commodore 64 as well as publisher-themed carts from studios such as Data East, Interplay, Codemasters, and more. Just like the old days, the carts come in chunky plastic cases filled with cool inserts. You insert the cartridge, pick a game, and dive in almost instantly. Quality-of-life improvements such as save states and various display settings make these retro games more digestible, lending themselves to quick spurts of play.

The original handheld was followed up in 2021 by the Evercade VS, a home console capable of 1080p resolution and multiplayer for two players. With the EXP, manufacturer Blaze Entertainment has returned to its handheld origins, improving on the original design in practically every way.

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Author: Steven Petite