Make your own portable game console with Makerbuino [Sticky or Not?]

Playing games is fun, but building your console from the ground up and then playing games is a whole other level of enjoyment.

Aiming to build something both educational and fun for those video game obsessed youths (and inadvertently appealing to everyone), maker Albert Gajšak from Zagreb, Croatia, has created an Arduino-based DIY console that looks similar to a 2005-era Game Boy Micro that plays 8-bit games.


The device, which comes in kit form, is $35 USD on Kickstarter (about $44 CAD) and has an estimated delivery time of May 2017, with shipment to anywhere in the world.

For $45 USD (about $60 CAD), backers can also get a set of hardware expansion modules and the tools required to build it — which include a regular soldering iron, diagonal cutter pliers, a regular screwdriver and a desoldering vacuum pump (optional, but as the Kickstarter notes, handy for mistake correction).


The Makerbuino comes with an SD card loaded with several retro games, more of which can be downloaded from the online Makerbuino games gallery. Adding to the educational element, all the games are open-source and available with downloadable Arduino source code and compiled .HEX file, allowing you to peek into the code, tweak it or even implement parts of it for your own game project. An accompanying programming toolkit also helps users develop their own games by providing information on developing in-game menus and other GUI-related content and drawing, displaying and animating bitmaps, among other things.

Some of the classic games already available include: Tetris, Breakout and Space Invaders. What’s more, you can chain Makerbuino consoles together (theoretically up to 128) to participate in large-scale multiplayer games.

According to the Kickstarter page, the kit is appropriate for kids aged 11 and up, and takes about five hours to make.

Verdict: Sticky

The only thing that I dislike about this Kickstarter is that it suggests I might want to get it for the child in my life, when clearly I want it for myself.

Note: This post is part of an ongoing series titled Sticky or Not. Sticky or Not began as a series on MobileSyrup’s Snapchat account in which Rose Behar analyzes new and often bizarre gadgets, rating them sticky (good) or not (bad). Now the series is expanding to include articles, because who doesn’t love a quirky new gadget?