Our society is now all about portability, convenience and instant gratification, and gaming is no different. These days, mobile gaming is big business with everyone from your 14-year-old brother to 80-year-old grandma using their smartphones to play the most in-depth RPGs and casual puzzle games.
Nobody wants to carry around a bulky handheld gaming device when you can access a world of entertainment on your smartphone. But what if that device could be reminiscent of retro video games and still fit in your pocket?
That's exactly what Arduboy does. Though this teeny, tiny, Gameboy-like device is the size of a credit card, it fits a whole arcade of games for you to play and even make yourself.
Arduboy first burst onto the scene last year when a video creator Kevin Bates posted on YouTube caught the attention of the Internet. In the video, Bates, a programmer, demonstrated how the pint-sized device could be used to show off his business card in a game of Tetris. Bates just launched a Kickstarter campaign Monday to raise funds to bring Arduboy to the masses. It has already raised more than $95,000 at the time of this writing, well surpassing its goal of $25,000.
Arduboy uses Arduino software, and the Arduboy Arcade is open source, allowing users to make all of their 8-bit dreams come true by playing classic arcade games for free on the device's petite black-and-white screen. Some of the games already available in the Arduboy Arcade seem to mimic iconic arcade, PC and Gameboy titles, including Alien Attack (Space Invaders), Cascade Path (The Oregon Trail) and Ardumon (Pokemon).
Since Arduboy is an open platform, that means you can also make games for the device. Along those lines, Arduboy can also be used as an educational tool to teach kids how to program. Education kits are offered as rewards for contributing to Arduboy's Kickstarter campaign.
"If you can learn how to program the Arduboy, you are creating software directly in the same way you would program for any other 'smart device'," Bates recently told The Huffington Post.
The first 1,000 backers of the Kickstarter campaign will be able to score the Arduboy for $29.95, which you have to admit is a lot cheaper than any smartphone or most handheld gaming systems out there. For everyone else, the Arduboy will cost $39. But can you really put a price on feeling like a kid again?