I played a lot of Ninja Gaiden in waiting rooms as a kid. I didn’t play Ninja Gaiden Shadow on the Game Boy, but rather the shitty LCD powered handheld Ninja Gaiden released by the Tiger toy company. It was a simple game where I navigated my marionette ninja back and forth across the simple screen and mashed buttons while the small speakers bleeped and blooped. It was cheap and terrible and I loved it.
From the 1970s through the 90s, game and toy companies released electronic handheld versions of popular games such as Pac-Man, Q-Bert, and Contra. They were strange games usually played on LCD screens with hand drawn backgrounds. Using vacuum fluorescent displays, LCD, or LED screens, “the pre-formed art is lit up based on circuits that try to act like the arcade game as much as possible, without using an actual video screen or a even the same programming,” the Internet Archive explained in a blog post.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.