If you’ve not heard of the ArduBoy, it is a credit card sized game machine based on the Gameboy. However, it has an 8-bit microcontroller in it (The Arduino Pro Micro or Leonardo 32u4 chip) and a 1 colour display with lower resolution than the Gameboy. It is designed to be a fun game machine for people to learn how to program on and all of the games are open source and free.
This is what they look like.
They are really nicely made little things and great fun.
Well, I decided to build a clone of the Arduboy using an Arduino Pro Micro and an SPI OLED display on a breadboard. I had to change a few pins around from the original Arduboy schematic as they pro Micro doesn’t break out all pins.
My clone is not as pretty as the Arduboy but at least it works and will allow me to develop games for it until I get hold of the real thing.
I downloaded a copy of the ArduBoy schematic and simply copied that as best I could to recreate the circuit. It’s very simple being made up of an SPI OLED, 6 buttons, 2 piezo buzzers and the Pro Micro.
I tried it out by uploading a few Arduboy games to it and it worked perfectly. However, I was itching to have a go at making my own game for it as it brought back memories of doing game development on my old retro computers like the ZX81, ZX Spectrum, Dragon 32 and so on.
I decided to make a clone of one of the old favourite retro games and started looking around at what was available and what hadn’t already been made for the Arduboy. I discovered that the old ZX Spectrum classic Jet Pac had not been done by anyone yet and so decided I’d give that a go. I didn’t have the game to hand to play so simply watched some YouTube videos of other people playing it to try and recreate the graphics and gameplay.
Well, after 30 hours of software development and pixel art the game is now complete. Take a look at a video of it in action.
If you have an Arduboy or the parts to make one and want to play the game then get the files by popping on over to either the Arduboy Community:
or my GitHub: