The Arduboy is a nifty little 8-bit handheld video game console built around an Arduino-compatible ATmega32u4. It’s completely open source, and there’s a thriving community of people building their very own games and sharing them on the platform. But, because of the relatively low power of the system, those games are usually simple 2D affairs. Stéphane Hockenhull’s Starduino game, however, is taking the Arduboy into glorious 3D.
Starduino was inspired by the original Star Fox released on the SNES, which had a similar origin story. Star Fox was the first Nintendo game to feature 3D polygonal graphics, and was quite the technological marvel at the time. While the SNES had dramatically better graphics than the NES, most games were still relegated to two dimensions. Star Fox was able to break through those barriers with clever programming, as well as a coprocessor built into the cartridge.
Hockenhull’s Starduino is even more impressive, because it’s running with fewer resources — just the ATmega32u4 — and doesn’t have the benefit of that additional coprocessor. The gameplay itself looks very similar to Star Fox, and the player is tasked with piloting a ship around a black-and-white world, dodging obstacles and shooting down enemies along the way. Best of all, because of the open source nature of the Arduboy, you can download and play Starduino yourself!