It all started with a one-0f-a-kind Tetris playing business card, but as Kevin Bates' tiny Arduboy gaming console nears production, there's now a new version that's custom-designed to finally play an official version of that famous tetromino-stacking game.
The Tetris MicroCard has the same guts as Bates' Arduboy that managed to raise over $US400,000 on Kickstarter earlier this year, but with a slightly different form factor. The Arduboy's been turned sideways for the MicroCard, with the four-way directional controls and action buttons instead sitting on either side of its portrait-oriented OLED display that's now better suited for playing Tetris.
Like the Arduboy, the Tetris MicroCard features a microUSB port that's used for charging, but also for uploading your own open source applications. However, you might run into a few gameplay issues given the unique layout of the MicroCard's buttons and display, especially for titles designed with the original Arduboy.
The most notable difference between the Arduboy and the Tetris MicroCard, however, is that it will be skipping Kickstarter and instead be available, through pre-orders, directly from its own website. Starting today you can nab one for just $US49, but delivery isn't expected until sometime in the first quarter of 2016, so don't bother putting it on your Christmas wish list because you're going to be sorely disappointed.
The original Arduboy has seen similar days, due in part to sourcing the console's OLED displays. However, this isn't one of those 'take your money and run' crowdsourcing campaigns. Bates has been working hard to turn his original creation into a consumer-ready product, and delays like this are part of that challenge.
In a time when everything from your phone to your watch can play Tetris, you might wonder why you'd need yet another portable gaming device to get your tetromino fix. But when you find yourself on the brink of shattering your old high score, you'll be thankful to be free of annoying notifications or other distractions throwing off your game. [Tetris MicroCard]