If you ever attended an English village fête before 1995 or thereabouts, chances are you’ve wielded a mallet and waited for a fake mole to pop up so you can bash it. They were simpler times. Liam Eggermont has upgraded one of our favourite nostalgic arcade games with a Raspberry Pi. It lights up and you can play against another player. Behold Whack-a-Mole 2022.
- Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (2GB)
- 20 Hall effect sensors and 20 springs
- Arduino Uno Rev 3
- Some buttons, magnets, LED strips, and a buzzer
Liam made three custom boards to deliver the electronics: a power delivery board, a board where all the Hall effect sensors connect to the analogue to digital convertors, and a main motherboard with connectors to the Raspberry Pi, Arduino, little LCD screen, gyroscope and all the other boards.
Each of the twenty half spheres have three LEDs soldered inside them and a magnet glued to the underside of the flat ‘lid’ side. The Hall effect sensors are soldered and glued under each sphere directly beneath the magnets. All of these elements have to be robust enough to stand being smacked by the players. The half spheres and all the bits and pieces that make them light up sit on top of springs which provide the tactile ‘whack’ experience.
An upgrade from tradition
Traditional Whack-a-Mole games were reliably ropey, usually comprising a discarded slab of chip board shoddily painted and with holes so roughly cut out you got splinters just looking at it. Liam’s iteration is a far classier affair. He hand-crafted this simple, smooth wooden enclosure which discreetly hides all the electronics.
The red team and the blue team have to whack the spheres as fast as possible when they light up in their team’s colour. It’s good old-fashioned fun and it exercises your reflexes. What’s not to like?
Build instructions and all the custom libraries needed for the Raspberry Pi are all available on Liam’s Instructable.