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February 28, 2021

The Chhattisgarh

Beyond The Region

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Amkette Evo Fox Game Box review: A streaming box that doubles as a retro gaming device

As an ’80s kid myself, I have been fortunate to live in an era when playing video games was all about fun. I still remember I used to visit friend’s homes in my society to play video games. Although I have been lucky to be able to access Nintendo’s classic home systems after so many years, I am sure there are those who still miss playing Super Mario Bros or Contra. Recently, I received a parcel from Amkette at my doorsteps, and to my surprise, it turned out to be the Evo Fox Game Box. Initially, it appeared to be a media streaming box which it is but later I realised the device could also run my childhood favorite games like Donkey Kong and Doom. In fact, the Evo Fox Game Box is pitched as a game device with a focus on kids and families. I have been using the Evo Fox Game Box for weeks, and here is what I have learned using a device that introduces old-school gaming to a whole new generation.
Amkette Evo Fox Game Box price in India: Rs 8,999
Basic design, powerful hardware to run casual games
The Evo Fox Game Box has an understated look, like its long line of predecessors. It is made of plastic and has a matte black design. The device is small enough and sits perfectly next to your smart TV. It looks just like streaming boxes from Xiaomi, though its striking glowing pink lighting elements are a nice touch to the design. On the back of the Evo Fox Game Box are ports for power, HDMI and Ethernet. There are more ports on the side, which include two USB-A ports and a microSD card expansion slot. While the Evo Fox Game Box looks simple and neat, I did not like the messiness of dongles as both the remote control and the wireless game controller need dongles to connect with the device.
The device is small enough and sits perfectly next to your smart TV. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Being pitched as a gaming device, Amkette bundles a game controller in the box. This is not comparable to controllers that you get with the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, but it feels “perfectly fine” for playing games. The controller offers a secure grip; the D-pad feels clicky and precise and the triggers feel accurate. I would say this is an okay controller — not too good and not too bad.
There is also a remote in the package. The design of the remote is different from what I have seen come with the Amazon Fire TV Stick. It has a comfortable design and the build quality feels good. It runs on two AAA batteries which are included and navigating the remote is snappy. There is a built-in Air Mouse mode, which converts the remote into an actual mouse. There’s also a button to launch Google Assistant. With voice commands, you can also launch apps, go to some TV shows and movies directly and do much more.
The bundled game controller feels “perfectly fine” for playing games. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Inside of the Evo Fox Game Box, the hardware consists of a quad-core processor, a Mali G31 3D graphics chip, 4GB RAM and 32GB of built-in storage that can be further expanded via microSD card. Don’t expect the performance and graphics to match that of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. That’s not what Amkette wants to achieve. The idea is not to sell PlayStation 4-like hardware, or enter a space where promises fall flat. Rather, the focus is on making the Evo Fox Game Box powerful enough to run games like Asphalt Airborne 8, Dead Trigger 2 and hundreds of casual titles that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Considering that the company never intended to see the Evo Fox Game Box as a full-fledged game console, the hardware works fine.
The list of available games on the Evo Fox Game Box has some notable omissions, which could have been considered in lieu of less popular titles. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Show some retro love
As I started playing Doom on my TV, I asked myself a question: Why do I feel so excited to play the cult classic game? The answer to this question is easy: Doom is connected to my childhood with a strong emotional chord. Amkette wants to use the powerful marketing tool of nostalgia to sell the Evo Fox Game Box to the 80s generation. There are 100 classic games preloaded on the device, which were all the rage in the late 80s and early 90s. There’s Prince of Persia 2, Super Mario All-stars, Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat 3, to name a few. The list of available games on the Evo Fox Game Box has some notable omissions, which could have been considered in lieu of less popular titles. This isn’t to say the selection is poor. I really enjoyed Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety, a side-scrolling action video game that appeared on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1995. I had never played the game before, so I was in for a surprise. However, I do like to point out that the pixels would be stretched. Classic SNES games don’t look terrible, though.
Over 100 classic games come preloaded in the Evo Fox Game Box. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Play Android TV games in 1080p
At the end of the day, the Evo Fox Game Box is still an Android-ready streaming box. Like any other Android player, the Amkette device is also capable of running games that are designed for Android TV, though the Evo Fox Game Box feels fast and more responsive. The extra 4GB RAM does have an advantage, after all. There are plenty of games to choose from — both free and paid – and some titles are worth playing including The Wolf Among Us, Final Fantasy VI, Real Racing 3, Welcome to Olliwood, etc. However, not every game does officially has controller support.
The Evo Fox Game Box is essentially a media streaming box. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Excels as a smart TV box
In terms of media streaming box, the 4K-ready Evo Fox Game Box has access to Google Play Store and OTT services, but still lacks Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Though you do get YouTube, Hotstar, Zee5, Sony Liv and other streaming apps. The interface is fast and responsive. The home screen is a bit different, though I wish the company had spent more time on the user interface as part of its aim to sell the Evo Fox Game Box to casual gamers.
Evo Fox Game Box review: Should you buy it?
The Evo Fox Game Box is Amkette’s attempt to bring casual gaming to your living room, reaching a new customer demographic that has been ignored by companies for years. Theoretically, the Evo Fox Game Box is much like the Mi Box 4K but is marketed for gaming. The fact that it can run media apps and Android games, as well as classic games without the need to sideload an emulator, makes it appealing. The power of nostalgic marketing is a good strategy to make the Evo Fox Game Box standout from rival streaming devices.