Gamebuino is the 8-bit handheld game programmer from your childhood dreams

Would you like to build your own Gameboy? If you love the idea of building your own Arduino games but find existing kits a bit of a pain, Gamebuino is the device to try. Like all Arduino kits, Gamebuino’s kit will include everything you need to assemble the device so that you can develop your own games, but the unique touch is its charming monochrome screen, its SD card slot (so you can switch games without connecting it to a computer) and its tiny size – it’s about the size of a credit card. A laser-cut case will protect Gamebuino when you take it on the go, and multiplayer capabilities (utilizing its I2C ports or an optional wireless-communication module) will bring the gaming experience into the 21st century.

The Gamebuino has a classic shape and seems cut out for classic arcade-style 8-bit games, but it also has certain more modern features. Its front-lit screen, for example, automatically adapts to ambient light levels, and it can use an accelerometer. The speakers have four channels and the battery can last up to 24 hours. The programming library included with the device allows you to do several relatively complex tasks with a single command line such as “play(tetris),” but a collection of instructions of progressive complexity will allow more savvy programmers to delve deeper into the platform. The Gamebuino website will serve as a developer community devoted to such explorations.

Naturally, Gamebuino needs to be produced in significant quantities to keep the cost reasonable, so French developer r0d0t has initiated an Indiegogo campaign for the device, and it’s already earned twice its stated goal. A contribution of 35 euros will get you the device itself (with free worldwide shipping included). Check out the Indiegogo promotional video below.

This post was originally written by Rachel Pincus for PSFK.