Electronic game of Connect Four played on an 8×8 LED matrix
The childhood classic tabletop game of Connect Four entails dropping either a red or yellow disc into one of several columns in a grid with the hope of lining up four in a row. And even though the game has existed digitally for a while now, it is mostly played on LCD screens with fancier graphics and AIs against which the player competes. Wanting to push this paradigm further, Mirko Pavleski built a mini tabletop arcade cabinet that uses an Arduino Nano and an LED matrix instead to run the game.
In order to display the current grid to the player(s), Pavleski purchased an 8×8 WS2812B individually addressable LED matrix that gets powered by the Arduino Nano‘s 5V regulator. Because the game can either be played against another human or an AI opponent, the cabinet contains three buttons for selecting the chip’s drop location and a buzzer to deliver audible feedback when an event occurs. The entire device was constructed from a few 5mm PVC boards lined with colored paper for an old-fashioned aesthetic.
Watching the microcontroller AI opponent play Connect Four in real-time is quite impressive, owing to the relatively small computing resources of the Arduino Nano’s ATmega328 MCU. To see it in action, you can watch Pavleski’s video below or check out his project write-up on Hackster.io.