Thanks to Arduboy Incorporated, Tetris fans will soon be able to play an extremely tiny version of their favorite puzzle game on the Tetris MicroCard.
Kevin Bates, creator of the miniature console known as the Arduboy, is expanding his small-scale gaming operation and releasing a business card-sized Tetris player going by the moniker the Tetris MicroCard. Releasing next year, the teensy custom-designed product is set to play an officially licensed version of the famous tetromino-stacking game.
The Tetris MicroCard will be outfitted with the same hardware components as Bates’ Arduboy, with the difference being that the former is turned horizontally, while the latter is played vertically. Considering the layout, the D-pad and action buttons being on either side of the OLED screen will be more conducive to fast-paced, albeit miniscule-looking rounds of Tetris.
For the uninitiated, the Arduboy gaming console that inspired the Tetris MicroCard started out as a Kickstarter project that raised over $400,000 earlier this year. Essentially, the constituents that make up both systems are a smaller version of an Arduino board which has been stripped-down as much as possible in order to allow for the card’s tiny 1.6 millimeters-thick size.
Also like the Arduboy, the Tetris MicroCard has a microUSB port for charging, and uploading open source applications. And since the display only supports an 8-bit output, other playable titles would have to be vintage video games such as the Atari classics Frogger, Missile Command, and Space Invaders, as well as Nintendo’s original Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong.
Taking the novelty into consideration, there will surely be plenty of folks eager to get their hands on Bates’ dwarf-sized version of Tetris. However, its price might give people pause, as the little gizmo is being sold for $49. Additionally, since there are already so many other available outlets for Tetris—be it with mobile phones, last-gen consoles, or even Ubisoft’s problematic port for PS4—the cost is simply too much to be worth it.
Without a doubt, Tetris is easily one of the top 5 Game Boy games, so it makes sense that someone like Bates wishes to put his own spin on it. The tile-matching puzzle title is so influential and well-known that earlier this year, The Strong’s Museum of Play inducted the release into its 2015 Video Game Hall of Fame, further solidifying its importance. And although Bates’ Tetris creation may very well be superfluous at this point, his skill and ingenuity should still be applauded.
As if it needed to be said, Tetris is not only one of the best puzzlers ever made, but it’s also one of the greatest games of all time, and once the MicroCard version becomes available in Spring 2016, the mini-port will join the ranks of the title’s numerous iterations that populate practically every platform.