Our friends at Evil Mad Science (the storefront for Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories) have created a great little game machine for soothing those financial scars wrought by the recent economic downturn. Forget the line madness on Black Friday and fighting tooth and nail over the local box store's solitary Wii. Order a Meggy Jr RGB kit from the safety of your comfy chair and you'll be gaming to the magic of blips and bleeps in no time.
Sporting a distinctly low-tech look (and there's nothing wrong with that), the Meggy Jr RGB consists of an 8x8 RGB LED matrix, a diamond button pad, two game control buttons, a buzzer, and 8 extra LEDs for monitoring game scores. Living off a battery three pack (AAA-sized), this kit can be quickly soldered together and ensconced in your fave project box. Or, you can opt for a classy clear acrylic "sport" handle available from Evil Mad Science.
Once you've built your kit, there is a game pre-programmed on the supplied Atmel ATmega168 microcontroller: "Attack of the Cherry Tomatoes." Let the gaming begin. Or, if you'd like to get your gaming hands really dirty, you can "roll your own" game using the FREE Arduino IDE. Just plug in a FTDI USB-to-TTL cable, load the Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories' Arduino Meggy Jr RGB Library and you can create your own thumb twitch game—all in glorious 8x8 LED Technicolor, err, digi-color.
Ever mindful of your tight wallet, Evil Mad Science has thoughtfully broken the pricing of Meggy Jr RGB kits down into a full range of kits and accessories: from the $12 bare PCB version to the full-blown $95 Super Kit model. Kits began shipping the week of November 17. A great stocking stuffer for your own evil mad scientist.