Pong too complicated? Use an Arduino to make a 1D version

While recreating the original Pong with an Arduino or Raspberry Pi is a beginner’s project you’ll find in many starter kits, making the game simpler is a bit more complex.

That’s what YouTube channel GreatScott! has done with “1D Pong” – a version of the game controlled with one button per player, and a single row of LEDs acting as the playing field.

Instead of a ball bouncing between players, a single LED will light up and race between them. As it gets closer to each side it will change colour going from green, to yellow and then red.

At red the player on that side will need to hit their comically large push button to lob it back. Press too soon or too late, and you concede a point.

Aside from the one long strips of lights, each side also has a scoreboard of 15 LEDs each that can display the current number of points.

An Arduino Nano handles the logic side of the game with code whipped up in around 5 hours.

This is all connected to a standard piece of MDF wood and plugged into the mains for power.

We’ve seen a few games like this in the past during local maker and gaming meetups. Line Wobbler was one such game, using a spring door stopper as the input method on another single row of LEDs. While not multiplayer, it did feature ten levels and a boss fight.


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