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Fuzebox: Retro 8-Bit Gaming Goes Open Source

by Paul Strauss

Always thought you could improve on the gameplay of Tetris? Fancy yourself the creator of the next Super Mario Brothers? Thanks to this open source gaming system – if you’ve got the programming chops, you’ve got the chance to make the next great 8-bit video game.

fuzebox_open_source_8-bit

The Fuzebox is a complete 8-bit gaming platform in a box that’s not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes.

fuzebox_2

Based on the open source Uzebox project, the Fuzebox is a ready-to-go kit from the folks over at Adafruit. The DIY 8-bit console is capable of cranking out 256 colors at a 240×224 resolution. The system has full video and audio capabilities on board, and can output to any monitor with an RCA or S-Video jack. You can play games with a standard NES or SNES controller.

fuzebox

Coding for Fuzebox/Uzebox requires knowledge of the C programming language. Just write your games on any computer, and transfer them via a USB-to-Serial cable to move them to the Fuzebox. There’s also a handy emulator available for you to test your programs before you move ’em to your Fuzebox.

Curious to see what it can do? Here are a couple of demo videos running on an early prototype of the Uzebox platform:

The basic Fuzebox kit (just the circuit board and parts) will run you $70 (USD), while a complete starter kit with a controller, power adapter and a custom enclosure for $100. You can get your hands on the kit along with schematics, programming instructions and some sample code over at Adafruit. A number of game examples and demos can be found on the Uzebox forums.



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