Arduino MINTIA - Game Console in a Candy Box




Introduction: Arduino MINTIA - Game Console in a Candy Box

About: Make it yourself if you cannot buy one!

This Instructables show you how to use a tiny candy box to create an Arduino color game console.

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Step 1: Introduction to MINTIA

MINTIA is a multi favor tablet produced by Asahi Group Food, Ltd. in Japan. The candy box design make it very easy to take one and only one tablet out when put off the cover, you can see the video demo how it works. It even have many 3rd parties tailor-made leather case for MINTIA. This candy box is very thin and the tablet outlet is very fit for the micro USB plug.

MINTIA has just over 20 years old, micro USB plug not yet born at that time! What a coincident!

I would like to squeeze all electronic components in it to find out how much it can be.

Asahi MINTIA page:

MINTIA official Facebook page:

Step 2: Preparation


An empty MINTIA Candy Box, you require consume all 50 tablets first :P

Arduino Board

This game console have no room to place a step up voltage regulator, so remember to use 3.3 V version of Arduino board. Below link is Sparkfun Pro Micro 3.3 V 8Mhz



0.96" 96 x 64 SSD1331 OLED display board, this is the most small and thin color display board I can found.


It come from an old cell phone

Lipo Battery

At the beginning, I would like to use the Lipo battery come from the old cell phone, because it only 23 mm thick. But I found it miss protection board and the terminal is hard to solder, so I ordered another one. 343450 is a little bit too big, finally I use 303040. It claimed it have 300 mAh capacity, I think it is good enough.

Lipo Battery Charge Board

This tiny charge board use TP4057 charge chip, LED is red when charging and turn to green when charge finished.


For changing Battery Mode between "charge from USB" and "use battery power".

SMD buttons

8 SMD buttons, 4 for left hand side navigation buttons and 4 for right hand side operation buttons.

Thin Multi Purpose PC Board

For holding all SMD buttons.

Coated Copper Wire

For connecting all the circuits.

Step 3: Program Arduino

You can re-program the Arduino board at any time, but it is more convenient for testing the speaker, OLED and the buttons if the board already have a runable program in there.


Download and install Arduino if not yet:

Arduino Pro Micro support

By default Arduino does not support Pro Micro board, please follow the steps to make Arduino support Pro Micro board:

Game Program

I have modified João Vilaça's Tetris game to support Ucglib and Pro Micro board. Since the screen is squeezed from 320x240 to 96x64, the brick is a little bit too small, 1 block only 3x3 pixels, but it is playable.

Here is my modified source code:

Original source ref.:

Step 4: Design Layout

The main design is place the OLED (visible area) in the middle vertically and horizontally. And the buttons in two sides have same arrangement, this aim to support the 2 players games, such as pong, can play in this console.

Step 5: Patch the Candy Box

In order to hide the game console in the candy box, I keep the front face and the border no change. I just remove the back sticker and put all component in there.

This candy box does not use any glue, so it is very easy to split the cover with some force :P

After split the cover, align the Pro Micro board USB plug to the tablet outlet. There are some plastic need to cut out to fit the board.

Step 6: Button Panel

Place the thin multi purpose PC board to the back cover, cut the board to fit for the box and the OLED board.

Stick the SMD buttons to the PC board with double sided adhesive tape, mark the buttons center points at the back cover.

Drill the hole for the buttons. I start from 1.5 mm hole, then 2.5 mm, 3.5 mm, 5 mm and eventually around 7 mm after smoothen the surface.

Step 7: Desgin Circult

Circuit summary:

Lipo battery -> charge board -> switch -> Pro Micro board

OLED board -> Pro Micro board

Button panel -> Pro Micro board

Connection detail show at the following steps.

Step 8: Fix Board, Battery and Charge Component

Use double sided adhesive tape to fix the Pro Micro board and Lipo battery.

Solder detail:

  • Charge board battery +ve -> Lipo +ve and switch right pin
  • Charge board battery -ve -> Lipo -ve
  • Charge board source +ve -> switch left pin
  • Charge board source -ve - > Pro Micro board GND pin
  • Pro Micro board RAW pin -> switch middle pin
  • Speaker +ve -> Pro Micro board A3 pin
  • Speaker -ve -> Pro Micro board GND pin

After soldering, plug the USB power, the charge board LED goes on.

If you have programmed the Pro Micro board at previous step, the speaker should playing Tetris melody.

Step 9: Connect OLED

Remember remove the coating at the end of coated copper wire before soldering.

Soldering detail:

OLED CS -> Pro Micro GPIO 10

OLED Data -> Pro Micro GPIO 16 MOSI

OLED CLK -> Pro Micro GPIO 15 SCLK

OLED RST -> Pro Micro GPIO 18

OLED DC -> Pro Micro GPIO 19

OLED Vcc -> Pro Micro RAW pin

OLED GND -> Pro Micro GND pin

After soldering turn on the power, the OLED should show Tetris splash screen.

Step 10: Patch OLED Frame

Measure and stick the masking tape according to the design. Drill the hole, cut the middle part out and shape the border with cutter.

Double check the hole can fit for the OLED glass part.

Step 11: Patch Battery Switch and Speaker Hole

Mark the switch and speaker position at the back cover and then drill and cut the holes.

Step 12: Button Panel

Button soldering detail:

Pro Micro GND pin (beside GPIO 2) connect to one side of all 8 buttons

GPIO 2 -> up button

GPIO 3 -> down button

GPIO 4 -> left button

GPIO 5 -> right button

GPIO 6 -> A button

GPIO 7 -> B button

GPIO 8 -> C button

GPIO 9 -> D button

  1. Solder all buttons with coated copper wire
  2. Align and solder all the wire at the PC board left most column
  3. Cut all the wire with same length (around 1 cm)
  4. Put all 9 wires end to the Pro micro board (from GND pin to GPIO 9
  5. Solder the wire one by one
  6. Fold the button panel align on top of the OLED board
  7. Turn on the game console to check all the buttons work

Step 13: Pu on the Back Cover

Pu On The back Cover Carefully, use a little force to combine the front and back cover. You can listen some click sound when it combine success.

Step 14: Design Cover

You may think the cut hole is a little bit ugly, don't worry, we can print a beautiful cover to hide it.

  1. Print the PDF file with white sticker
  2. Cut the OLED, switch and speaker hole
  3. Stick it on the game console carefully

Step 15: Happy Gaming!

Play Tetris!

Show the front face to your friend and then flip it, show them what you have done!

What's next?

  1. The left bottom part just below the Pro Micro board still have some room, it could squeeze a motion sensor.
  2. More game? There are still some game for Arduino, but require some code modification for specific hardware.
  3. Pro Micro board still have many limitation, try more powerful board? Such as SparkFun SAMD21 Mini Breakout, this board much powerful but same as Pro Micro form factor.
  4. Develop your own game!

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    14 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I just found out i have everything exept a suitable screen lying around. I do have some black/white nokia screens of that size and resolution, would it be possible to use one of them without changing the code too much? Im bad at programming q.q


    Reply 3 years ago

    I am using Ucglib for the color screen. Since Ucglib derive from U8glib, you may try switch to U8glib or U8g2lib for your mono screen.


    3 years ago

    Great project. i'd love to see a Raspberry Pi Zero version, if you could make it fit :-)


    Reply 3 years ago

    and also RPI does have a good display API


    Reply 3 years ago

    The Zero is quite tricky to get hold of. it's cheap price ($5) and limited production is means it keeps selling out as quick as they make them. is a good place to track them.

    It has many options for display; HDMI and composite outputs, plus you can get SPI/i2c screens to work with it too.

    I you use something like Retropie you will be able to play all kinds of games from all kind of consoles on it :-)


    Reply 3 years ago

    I just got one today, looking forward on how to make it.


    Reply 3 years ago

    seems I cannot buy it in normal way within 2016


    Reply 3 years ago

    pimoroni sold me a zero with tons of waiting and daily checks - right after my purchase it was out of stock (you should keep an eye on them)


    Reply 3 years ago

    pimoroni sold me a zero with tons of waiting and daily checks - right after my purchase it was out of stock (you should keep an eye on them)


    3 years ago

    Just when I had almost cured my tetris addiction..... I must build it


    3 years ago

    ( I have seen that Motor corpse before )... I like the "ready for business" project

    :P nice job buddy !!


    3 years ago

    This is super cool! I love this :-)