Introduction: MoleMash With Physical Buttons Using App Inventor and Hippo-ADK

Today I would like to introduce you how to make a retro-style smash-a-mole game called MoleMash with physical buttons. This project uses the hardware resources of an Android phone such as LCD screen and audio to create a fun, action-packed game, highly recommended for your kids.

It uses the Digital Read component of App Inventor and Hippo-ADK to receive signal from the buttons. With Hippo-ADK and App Inventor, hardware projects such as this one do not necessarily need hardware programming anymore; you can just use graphical programming on App Inventor to code it just like I did. This makes it extremely appealing for those who are not from technical backgrounds or for teaching kids to code.

If you want to know more about Hippo-ADK, check out our campaign on Kickstarter.

Step 1: Step 1:Materials Needed

Hippo-ADK, Breadboard, physical buttons , some wires and USB cable, Nexus 7

Step 2: Step 2: Put Hippo-ADK on the Breadboard

Step 3: Step 3: Set Up the Hardware (Physical Buttons and Hippo-ADK)

Step 4: Step 4: Program Them Using App Inventor

We have expanded the capabilities of App Inventor to include controlling hardware. Although we have yet uploaded them to the official server, we are sharing the code for MoleMash with everyone here on Instructables. You can import MoleMash.aia to App Inventor to see the details of our app as well as make your own APK.


  • MoleMashNomral.apk: Install package for MoleMash
  • MoleMash.aia: Source code for MoleMash; can be imported to App Inventor
  • MoleMashHippoADK.apk: Install package for MoleMash controlled by physical buttons
  • MoleMashHippoADK.aia: Source code for MoleMash controlled by physical buttons; can be imported to App Inventor; Hippo-ADK required

Step 5: Step 5: Connect Hippo-ADK to Nexus 7, Run the App, and Use the Physical Buttons to Enjoy MoleMash