I couldn’t resist trying it for myself, and picked one up on eBay for a little bit less than £20 including delivery. Quite a bit less than the RRP you’ll see quoted in some places online. A games console, complete with 87 games, for £20. Bargain. Right? Well, almost.
- The graphics are sub-SNES quality and many of the games are barely playable. The knock-off design is laughable and the bargain basement price reveals itself at every opportunity.
- The two stick controllers each include four red flashing lights at the bottom, a-la the blue lights on the Wiimote, but these ones don’t do anything except flash irritatingly and constantly.
- The stick controllers do include a very crude motion control. Certainly nothing like the Wiimote of course, but simply a basic (and flaky) movement detection, presumably through something like a mercury tilt switch. It just about works for the Tennis and Pingpong games but it it painful in the extreme for any of the others, especially baseball and golf where it’s practically unusable. You can turn ‘sport’ mode off to disable the motion control and use the buttons instead (or just use the other game controller which you only get one of but is a much better bet for most of the games).
I have not tried all 87 games yet, but here are some highlights
While many of the other games I’ve tried so far have been predictably awful, other have turned out to be quite playable in a retro generation-before-last sort of way. Especially with the volume muted. The quality of the (18) games on the sports cartridge, while still quite mixed, is markedly higher than the (69) games on the arcade cartridge.
I’ll try to continue to capture and review more of the games in detail. Rather than do it here, I’ve started an owners wiki where I’ve begun to document the EZi’s various games and hardware. It already includes the photos and videos used above, plus Pingpong, Boxing and others, and I’m sure it will grow as I (and others?) add more. I do hope anyone else who is brave/mad/foolish enough to buy an EZi Entertainment Zone will join me there.
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