Chances are that this “Video Game in a Box” by Adam Kumpf will never reach the same level of notoriety as Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake’s “Dick in a Box” skit, but regardless, it’s damn cool.
The game mimics the popular NES game Super Mario Bros. It starts by pulling on a tab, which activates a robotic arm to open the box’s lid and activate the game. The player moves Mario up and down over the obstacles using a small knob located on the right side of the box. If the player fails to clear the obstacles the game stops, the box automatically closes and they must start again. Since the scroll wheel isn’t more than a foot long, if that, it speeds up and increases the challenge as you clear each enemy. To complete the game the player must survive the alotted time.
Underneath a set of servos power the scrolling wheel, which contain those familiar obstacles found in the original video game. Each obstacle contains magnetic tape that interacts with Mario and detects when he hasn’t cleared the obstacle. The game is replete with LED lights and sound effects.
Interested in making your own? Good news. The components are relatively available, and are in fact part of a Kickstarter project. The box uses an open source electronics board called Teagueduino. No soldering or code is required, though you’ll need some level of creativity.