The world of Lego is, in a word, vast. The company has developed all kinds of kits over the years, from knights to outer space. New, adult-oriented kits are designed to recreate nostalgia objects, and some manufacturers use these as the basis for their construction. That’s exactly what happened with this project created by maker and developer Matt Brailsford (aka). Circuit Beard. Brailsford is no stranger Convert toys into arcade cabinets. This time, he used the Lego Pac-Man Arcade Cabinet Kit to convert one of our favorite his SBCs, Pac-Man, into a working arcade-his cabinet that can actually run. Raspberry Pi Zero 2W.
The original kit is like a functional game of Pac-Man. Animate with chain drives and cranks to see your ghostly companions Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde scurrying through a classic maze.of lego pacman arcade cabinet You can buy it for $269 on the official Lego website.
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I had to use a 10″ HDMI display to swap out the Lego Pac-Man maze and the ‘screen’, but luckily, Pimoroni had just that Present to Brailsford. Pimoroni uses this screen in their Picade arcade cabinet. The screen fit the Lego arcade cabinet almost perfectly and only needed a few extra layers of Lego to balance the look of the cabinet.
But for Brailsford, looking at a LEGO Pac-Man cabinet wasn’t enough. He needed functioning buttons and a screen to bring the classic video game to life. The end result is an input made using his Tiny 2040 on his Pimoroni, a smaller version of the Raspberry Pi Pico. Inputs are hidden under Lego controls so the immersion is never interrupted. Custom 3D printed Lego bricks were used to connect the joystick module to the Lego joystick, and custom Lego bricks were used for the push buttons to connect with the original Lego. In another nod to the real thing, the coin slot lights up to indicate the cabinet’s power status.
The software that makes this experience possible is RetroPie, which runs the arcade version of Pac-Man via Mame. The Instagram video shows RetroPie’s installation customized with a Circuitbeard boot splash screen. Speaking of power, Brailsford uses the Pimoroni on/off shim, his GPIO-connected power interface to safely turn the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W on and off.
To be honest, we really like this build. Many Lego fans were eager to play Pac-Man in Lego cabinets. Lego provided a great model, but Brailsford has gone beyond and produced an extraordinary project leveraging the Pi.