What is it?
The RetroGame is a cool little hand-held video game that was created in the "old style"
using simple LED's and push-buttons.
The game has a 5 x 7 LED display, two buttons, and a speaker.
There's no plastic case for the game, so to play it you hold on
to the PCB (printed circuit board) directly. The game doesn't
even have power switch. To turn it on you "plug-in" the power
The power for the game comes from a 9-volt batter which is clipped directly
to the back of it.
It can play two
- Retris - a simple version of good old Tetris
- RetroRover - an obstacle avoidance game.
Each game is contained in a separate "Program Chip", so to play a different game
you need to switch out the chip. This really isn't too easy, unfortunately.
Why Did I Build It?
It was created for the "Bridge Point Elementary Science Day" in January, 2007.
Each of 60 kids assembled the RetroGame and took it home with them. "Assembly"
in this case consisted of attaching a battery clip, inserting two ICs and attaching
an LED display. You can see the kids' presentation in the Documentation section
The goal of the class was to provide the kids with an introduction to
electronics through a medium they love: video games. The "introduction" was
actually very slight, we really didn't cover much about electronics.
The main goal was to provide a hands-on experience assembling an
electronic device. Due to the simple assembly each of the kids was successful
in creating their first video game.
Getting the "Other" Game
If you are a Bridge Point Elementary parent or kid reading this,
and want to get the other Program Chip than the one you
have, please let me know...I have a few extras and should be able
to get you the "other" one. Just e-mail
There are two very special companies to thank for their
roles in getting the RetroGame into the kids' hands:
Without these guys, these games would have never happened!
But there are others who helped, please check out the
How Can I Get One?
Like I told the kids at Bridge Point Elementary on Science Day,
there are only 65 of these games in the world, so you have something
Actually, I have a few left...so there are really about 75 of these things
in the world. As of this writing, I have three "Science Day" style kits
left (which are easily assembled) and three complete boxes of parts for
those of you who know how to solder.
Please contact me if you would like one.
I give preference to kids. :-)
I would very much like for someone else to get benefit from
If there is anyone out there who would like to use the RetroGame
for fun or profit, please contact me via e-mail
I really don't care to make any money on the RetroGame...I would
just like to see someone make use of all of the hard work.
A couple ideas come to mind:
The software for the RetroGame lends itself to creation of
new games easily. The first game was RetroRover, which took
quite a while to create. The second game, Retris, was created
in a relatively short time because all of the software infrastructure
was already in place.
So if you want to create another game for RetroGame, please let me
know, I can help!
The entire project in an interesting study in engineering, from
PCB creation to software systems. It would make a wonderful
student class project.
Other ideas anyone?