Introduction: Real-Life, Playable Version of “Flappy Bird” Inside a Box

Picture of Real-Life, Playable Version of “Flappy Bird” Inside a Box
I made this real-life, playable version of "Flappy Bird" using Arduino Duemilanove, 3 servo motors, 2 buttons, a speaker, a reed switch, and handful of rare earth magnets.

First, find a box to make the frame of the game and two small dowels to create the rolling background. Those dowels are controlled by a motor that turns on when I presses a blue start button. Then attach another motor to a popsicle stick that opens and closes the box at the beginning and end of every session.

The Flappy Bird itself contains a magnetic sensor called a reed switch, which is programmed to be in a continual downward motion until you tap the button (just like the smartphone version). When the magnetic sensor touches the magnet — which is taped behind the pipes — the game is over.

The Arduino sketch is available here:

There’s also the opportunity to expand upon the physical game idea, creating your own new games to include in the box through the use of templates. I created a race car game inspired from Frogger and Pole Position.



fqiu (author)2014-03-21

Hi everyone, I just cleaned up the Arduino sketch and shared on dropbox, feel free to use it! :)

fqiu (author)2014-03-04

Hi everyone, I put together an illustrated instruction and a Plug and Play version of this project on Kickstarter, please check it out!

fqiu (author)2014-02-26

Hello, the reed switch senses the magnets under the pipes, and then game over! :) No score keeping yet mechanism yet, maybe an LCD display?

12345678902 (author)2016-11-23


spylock (author)2014-03-03

You just reinvented a game I had in the early 80s,mine was a car going up a paper road.It kept me occupied thought,nice work.

fqiu (author)spylock2014-03-21

really? what was it called? I'd love to see it, could you link me?

spylock (author)fqiu2014-03-22

That thing has been long ago thrown away,given away,but it was like what you made except it was in a plastic case with a clear plastic screen,for the lack of a better term,and it had a small steering wheel at the bottom.You tried to stay on the road without taking a dead end.

vincent7520 (author)2014-03-10

Fantastic !

Keep it this way : it shows how much those video games rely first on imagination not on computers !!!…

I love everything in it, especially the closing flap that ends the game.

I'll try to lobby to make my vote count a hundred instead of one !!…

You must win… otherwise this world is totally unfair !…

fqiu (author)vincent75202014-03-21

Thank you! :D

creativeideas4u (author)2014-03-13

any steps? I really want to learn!

fqiu (author)creativeideas4u2014-03-21

just shared the code, steps are still work in progress, did not do a good job documenting the project for the prototyp! :(

casperanna (author)2014-03-21

That is soo cool. I love their reaction when the box closes. Ha ha ha ha!

eqian (author)2014-03-14

nice work!:D

creativeideas4u (author)2014-03-13

that's is so cool, and that's a great idea of yours because no ads on flappy bird!

kkr1999 (author)2014-03-04

hey nice project

zzz1 (author)2014-03-04

that is the awesomest thing ever

fixxon1972 (author)2014-03-03

Keeping score could be done by pins at top pipes hitting a cog joined to a stripped hand clicker counter tally thing :) or a digi counter that counts on a connection hit :)

faiza007 (author)2014-02-27

what a cool project..!

TSJWang (author)2014-02-27

No instructions, but cool project anyways.

SuperScourge (author)2014-02-26

How does it sense of you hit the pipe?

I guess that he put magnets on the pipes and a magnet sensor on the bird

mbecks (author)2014-02-26

Lol everyone's concerned about it not keeping score. Very impressive device. If others want to build this with score involved the easiest way would be a stop watch

tacocats (author)2014-02-26

i like dis

AlexTech (author)2014-02-26

Would to see step-by-step! Really want to build this!

SWAG SNIPER 412 (author)2014-02-26

Also how does it keep track of score?

SWAG SNIPER 412 (author)2014-02-26

Would love to see step by step, would play a lot if I made it, how does it know if you hit a pipe?

McClay14 (author)2014-02-18

Really cool but this is instructables you left out the instruct part

Kiteman (author)McClay142014-02-19


If you could write a step-by-step, it would be immensely popular, and a great entry for both the Game4Life and laser cutter contedts

Kiteman (author)Kiteman2014-02-20

I told it would be popular, this is in the Daily Mail!

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2014-02-20

Wow.. what a beautiful coincidence that I played this game for first time online yesterday. Thanks and step-by-step would be awesome.

Dr_L (author)2014-02-19

Great job! I am looking forward to the step by step!

out-of-the-box (author)2014-02-19

I would love to see a step by step!

emilyvanleemput (author)2014-02-19

This is a great project! A step-by-step instructable of it would be really interesting to read!

ynze (author)2014-02-19

Ow wonderful! Can you please, please, please make a step-by-step Instructable for this project?


Ninzerbean (author)2014-02-19

Tell us how.

PKM (author)2014-02-19

I've never played flappy bird but even so I had a huge smile on my face watching this video. Please write up how you built it, this is a great example of what the Arduino is capable of that doesn't just appeal to people who already love electronics.

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