For the last few months, if you were active on Twitter it was nearly impossible to have missed someone mention the Evercade. A new handheld console that takes fully licensed cartridges of classic games from the 90’s.
Not only do you get a bundle of games on each £15 cart, but you also get a full colour manual as well! A worthy inclusion that any collector among us greatly appreciates.
I haven’t had a chance to pick one up yet but wanted to reach out to the team behind this beauty to find out some more information. And with people getting their hands on them this week, what better time to interview them?
First off thank you for taking the time to answer some questions, would you like to introduce yourselves and describe what role you play in the team?
I am Andrew Byatt head of the Evercade project at Blaze. My role is concerned with Product development, Licensing and marketing of the Evercade console. I head up the development team and am responsible for signing new games and publishers to the platform.
What made you decide to start developing a new retro style console in 2020?
We had been watching mini consoles have great success over the last few years and had enjoyed playing them ourselves, but always felt like they could offer more. We believed that having an experience that lasts and grows over time is more fun than a limited number of games.
For someone who doesn’t know, what can people expect from the Evercade?
Hopefully people will be brought back to their youth, the feeling of opening a cart box and slotting their cart inside the console should offer nostalgia. Once playing, people should both get to play hit games from the past and discover games they didn’t know existed, all for an affordable price
What was the most important aspect during the planning stages to include when creating the Evercade?
We had to get the games that people would want to play. This work continues now, but at the beginning we had to convince Bandai Namco, Atari, Interplay, Technos and others to believe in this concept. We worked really hard on emulation and hardware development and put these things together to build something we are proud to play.
I know a few people mentioned the button mapping and you were very quick to get working on a firmware upgrade which is great to see. Are there any features you’d like to add in the future this way?
Absolutely. At the beginning of the project we wanted to have a console with no FW updates, but during this recent period we realised that the benefits of updates much outweighed the benefits of having none. We have already worked on extra features and will be improving the Evercade experience for everyone over time.
What is your favourite game you’ve been able to procure on the handheld so far and why?
The team all have different favourites, but mine are a mix of Tanzer, Splatterhouse 3 and Earthworm Jim. I also have a soft spot for River City Ransom and Burger Time.
In your wildest dreams, what game would each of you most like to see on the console? (I think you know my answer to this from the constant tweets is Micro Machines).
There are so many amazing games, I’m actually hyped about the Lynx collections as they were part of my childhood. As we grow we should be able to get some more big names on the system. Those dream games may not be so far away.
That’s exciting to hear! Are there any games you wanted to have on the console but couldn’t work it out with the developer?
We have spoken with most of the big companies and not all of them expressed an immediate interest. Sometimes it can take years to do deals with certain Japanese publishers, we just need to do the groundwork and we will get there.
Are there any plans for future revisions/colour variants to the console?
Yes. Watch this space….
I love the addition of Indie games on the console like Xeno Crisis and Tanglewood. What advice would you give any indie devs who would want to have their game on a cart?
We are very keen to get more of these types of games on the console. If you have a retro game, just get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Overall from the reviews so far the console seems like a great success. It has all the important features us collectors come to expect from retro games like games on carts, manuals, the games themselves all running smoothly, and for us in PAL regions now running at full speed.
With carts costly £15 for, on average, 10 games it’s a great price to play your retro games on the go or on the TV in 720p via a mini HDMI connection. It’s a very fairly priced piece of kit. What are your thoughts on the Evercade?
With an Oliver Twins collection just announced, this makes a total of 14 confirmed cartridges. The Evercade is growing ever more appealing by the day.