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Fuzebox: Retro 8-Bit Gaming Goes Open Source

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Written by Paul Strauss | March 11, 2009

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.


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


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.


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.