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LEDBOY Lets You Game Like It's the '70s!

LEDBOY Lets You Game Like It's the '70s!


A number of LED-based video games were developed in the 1970s, which were soon superseded by LCD and other technologies. After a conversation with a friend about this retro tech, and how with modern hardware the concept could be taken much further, hacker grossofabian decided to create his own LED-based gaming system, the LEDBOY.

As implied by its name, gameplay takes place on a 10 x 10 matrix arrangement of RGB LEDs, housed and diffused via a 3D-printed enclosure. The game runs on a Microchip ATtiny1614 microcontroller, and there’s a CH340C USB to serial adapter included for easy programming. A 130 mAh lithium-ion battery is implemented for go-anywhere power, while still keeping it extremely small.

The user interface consists of two fire buttons, plus a mode button on the side. There’s also a potentiometer interface on the bottom, which can be seen moving the ship in a Space Invaders style game in the first video below. Currently, this appears to be the only game available, but perhaps we’ll see others developed in the future. Given its unique potentiometer interface, it’s just begging to be used with some sort of scrolling racing game, or perhaps even a Pong clone!

If you’d like to take up the mantle, or just check out what’s going on behind the scenes, code is available on GitHub. The second video shows off the build a bit more, with narration in Spanish.

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