Long before FireTV and Google Chromecast became household gadgets in India, playing your content and bringing web streaming onto the television meant buying an Android box. In India, Amkette did this very well with its ever-evolving EvoTV range of products. Now, knowing that its original calling is not really a thing, the EvoTV has evolved to become an affordable gaming device called the EvoFox Game Box 2022 loaded with a gamepad and an air remote, in case you need to use it as a smart box for your television.
The EvoFox Game Box is a complete kit for gamers with the Android smart box that comes preloaded with a lot of games as well as access to the Google Play store in case you need to add more on the fly. This also means you can download any app you want from Netflix to Vimeo, depending on what you want to do on your large screen. Interestingly, the Air Remote, which was one of the most innovative aspects of the original EvoTV has a 2022 avatar too which makes it really easy to use most aspects of this device. However, typing account IDs and passwords is still tiresome and you might want to add a small keyboard in case you have this as a serious use case.
The Game Box which is powered by a 64-bit quad-core processor has a dedicated 3D graphics processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Of course, you can connect to the network via WiFi, but there is also an RJ45 port at the back in case you are near a modem. Then there is an HDMI port to connect to the TV and two USB-A ports which can be used for the remote or the wireless gamepad. I would ideally have liked one more USB port so that I could use both the gamepads along with the remote. Up front, the box has a pink LED light that gives it a very gaming feel, which I liked.
Once you log in with your Google account the EvoFox Game Box is very easy to use like any Android product. Interestingly, since this comes preloaded with a lot of games, the Google log-in is not actually mandatory and I liked that aspect given that I have an 11-year-old at home.
The UI is easy to use and does not involve any learning. However, the preloaded retro games section had me a bit befuddled as it is a mix of folders and forgotten prompts from the past. Also, the back button does not work at times and I had to keep remembering to hit Home to get back to the home screen.
There are many preloaded games, including some popular ones like Badlands and Daytona racing. I spent quite some time playing Asphalt and Daytona Racing, as that is the genre that I am comfortable with. I have never been a fan of shooter games or had the mind space to remember game plots. The experience of playing a heavy game like Asphalt 8 on a 65-inch screen was exhilarating and that is putting it mildly. The EvoFox Game Box ensured the graphics were 4K quality even with the large screen I had at home and kept pace with the games with no lag or ghosting. The lag was usually with the UI where I had to wait a bit for the screen to change.
The EvoFox Elite Ops Wireless Gamepad which comes in the box will make this rig popular with both aspiring gamers, like my son, and evolved pros. It works out of the box as soon as you plug the USB dongle into the game box. It has everything from 3D 360-degree analogue joysticks to a turbo button and pressure-sensitive action buttons. With the games I played, I loved the grip of the gamepad and the feedback of the buttons. But then, I am not really good at gaming and I had to take the feedback of my son who really loved using this one and was trying to figure out how to connect this with his Nintendo Gameboy. In fact, the EvoFox Elite Ops Wireless Gamepad works with all platforms that can take the USB dongle.
Along with the suite of games, EvoFox Game Box also comes preloaded with OTT apps like Hotstar and Sony Liv and lets you access your saved media files with the Kodi app. And all of these work really well without any lag and you can use Bluetooth to set up a soundbar that literally ups the game.
There are some issues I need to flag though. The UI is a bit confusing at times and often leads you to dead ends where it tells you things like ‘shortcut no space’ etc. I remember playing a lot of games on the EvoTV years back using the air remote. But on the EvoFox Game Box, you need to the gamepad to play all games, which is a bit irritating for old-timers like me. I really don’t need a gamepad to enjoy a quick session of PacMan 256.
Still, this is a great device to get for your home if you have a kid you don’t really want to expose to expensive gaming options and have older souls who will like a dose of the games they grew up with. It helps that the EvoFox Game Box is actually a full entertainment set up which means you don’t need anything else in the house to watch your favourite shows or to cut the cable. At Rs 9,999, this is really worth it if you ask me and has few competitors in the market. An additional Gamepad will cost you Rs 1499 for long dad-son gaming weekends. I’m getting this for my son and skirting the PS5 question for now.