As budget-priced retro hardware goes, you could do much worse than the Evercade. [credit: Evercade ]
Gamers of a certain age will always have a special place in their hearts for the humble video game cartridge. There's something about sliding a thick piece of plastic into a slot before playing that evokes the simple joy of gaming as it was when we were kids. Optical discs, flash-based cards, and game downloads may have won the technological battle in the end, but the nostalgic appeal of cartridges has never faded for some.
That appeal seems to be central to the idea of the Evercade, a portable system from the UK's Blaze Entertainment. Besides the portable form factor—and the ability to emulate multiple classic consoles out of the box—the $80 Evercade differentiates itself from other recent plug-and-play retro devices in its expandability through various $20 cartridges. Each proprietary cartridge carries anywhere from six to 20 games, grouped by developer and licensed from companies like Namco, Atari, Interplay, Technos, and Data East, with more to come.
I've spent the last few weeks tinkering with the Evercade, swapping through dozens of well-known and obscure games on its initial selection of 10 cartridges. In that time, though, I've found my annoyance at the inconvenience of swapping those cartridges has overwhelmed my nostalgia. At this point, I think I'm finally ready to leave my nostalgia behind and keep cartridges in the dustbin of gaming history.