To be clear, since we were admittedly a bit curious at first when reading the Tiny Arcade Kickstarter page, this is not “acclaimed historical documentary filmmaker” Ken Burns. We would have ascended to a whole new pantheon of respect for him if it had been, but this rose by any other name would smell as sweet and geeky.
With a shockingly vivid full-color OLED screen set into backers’ personal choices of Acrylic, Wood or 3D-printed enclosures, Tiny Arcade actually plays free and open source community-made or personally coded games from the comfort of the palm of your hand. Exchange and download new games by way of the SD card expansion slot and go to town with two action buttons and a high-quality analog joystick.
A rechargeable lithium battery powers each cabinet and a built-in speaker brings each game vividly to life. Charge the cabinet and develop games powered by a 32-bit ARM processor comparable to the Arduino Zero for your hardware using the built-in USB port. All games play at 30 FPS.
The Tiny Arcade is available either pre-assembled or in solder-free DIY kit that snaps the boards and acrylic cases together like jigsaw puzzle – glue neither included nor needed – in around 10 minutes.
For those keeping score with 17 campaign days to go as of Nov. 30, 545 backers have powered Ken Burns’s Tiny Arcade past its $25,000 funding goal to the tune of $48,940.