TinyCircuits's Diminutive 'Thumby' Game Boy Clone Would Make Ant-Man Proud
We’ve seen some rather crazy devices hit Kickstarter over the years, but this latest entry from TinyCircuits perhaps takes the cake. The company this week unveiled Thumby, which looks like a Nintendo Game Boy that was hit by a shrink ray. As its name implies, Thumby is roughly the size of your thumb yet remains a fully functional game console.
Thumby measures just 1.2” x 0.7” x 0.3” and features a 72x30 monochrome OLED display. Powering the console is a Raspberry Pi RP2040 SoC paired with 2MB of internal storage and a tiny 40 mAh battery. Despite its size, the battery is good enough for a relatively palatable 2 hours of gameplay.
Although we can’t imagine staring at that tiny screen for two straight hours, you should know that the 4-way D-pad works as you would expect and is joined by two action buttons on its face (just like the original Game Boy). Five retro-themed games come preinstalled out of the box:
- TinyBlocks – A classic puzzle game
- Space Debris – A space shooter, similar to asteroids
- Annelid – A snake game, collect the food to grow your annelid
- Delver – A dungeon adventure game, collect and buy weapons, battle monsters
- Saur Run – You are a small running and jumping dinosaur, side scroller
TinyCircuits says that you can program the Thumby with MicroPython within a web browser, which allows you to add your own games to the [limited] internal storage. Connecting to a PC and recharging is accomplished via microUSB cable. Surprisingly, multiplayer gaming is supported using a Thumby Link cable, which also uses the microUSB port.
According to the Kickstarter page, you can grab a Thumby for a little as $19, which gets you the console in its standard gray color. If you pay an additional $5, you can take your pick of the available colors. The Kickstarter-exclusive gold color costs $35, while a two-pack in your choice of colors will set you back $50. Right now, TinyCircuits has more than doubled its $15,000 goal with 900 backers pledging $37,192.
The Thumby will begin shipping in February, barring any unforeseen delays.