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





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

Game.Life 4 Contest

Runner Up in the
Game.Life 4 Contest

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.




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


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


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

    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.


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

    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.

    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 !…


    Thank you! :D