Our editors have compiled a list of the “Top 5 Strangest (or Coolest) Gaming Creations” that we’ve come across in recent time. Which ones are your favorites?
5. Functional LEGO Pinball Machine
This fully functional LEGO pinball machine is another interesting Anders’ creation. It’s constructed on a “rectangular ‘plate’, where there is room to mount the ‘feet’ on its sides”. This device may not be loaded with flashy lights or obstacles, but it’s a cool project none the less.
…besides keeping track of the score, also generates a high score list. If you are good and make it into the top three, you can enter your name using the buttons on the RCX.
4. Electro-Mechanical Pong
Yes, this version of Pong is 100% electro-mechanical. The playing field consists of a ball and paddles that are attached to servo controlled cables, sandwiched between two sheets of glass. Instead of microcontrollers and integrated circuits, Pongmechanik uses three sensors to determine mechanical movement. Players use the joystick to drive a relay computer (simple logic circuit).
“The score counters go from 1 to 5 and the numbers are displayed on two rotating discs; as soon as a player gets five points, the game resets. The sound effects (all two of them) are created using solenoid plungers.”
3. Space Invaders 2006
Space Invaders 2006 puts a new twist on the classic game by taking buildings and transforming them into a virtual playing field. To control the ship, players move their body in a predefined space.
The invaders come out of the wall cracks and move down to the ground. The player has to move left or right to control the motion of the aircraft. Whenever the player jumps, the aircraft shoots out a bullet
The VirtuSphere takes gaming to a whole new level, allowing users to walk inside a virtual space “while being totally immersed” — through the head-mounted display system. Built-in sensors detect movement and transmit that information to a linked computer. A special platform inside the sphere allows it to rotate in any direction as the user walks.
The VirtuSphere is currently the only technology in the world, which permits the user to move about in virtual space through the most natural movement of all – by walking.
1. The Painstation 2
Created by Volker Morawe and Tilman Reiff, the Painstation 2 is an arcade machine that inflicts pain via electric shocks in a Pong-like game. The latest version features modular construction, an integrated PC, 15-inch monitor, Atmel microprocessor, PainControlUnit (PCU), and a 2.1 speaker system.
Pain level can be adjusted via the PCU from 50 to 150% giving the possibility to challenge an opponent on a certain level.
Honorable Mention – Futurama Space 3000 Pinball Machine
Futurama Space 3000 is a custom pinball machine built by a highly skilled modder. It all started when he bought an old Superman machine for parts. Since the cabinet was in bad condition, he began buying posters, calendars, and toys to start re-decorating the machine with. That’s not all, there’s even an integrated LCD display and headphone jack. The end result is stunning. Video located here.
Parts Used: Atari – drop targets, standup targets. Allied – spinning disc. Williams – flipper and sling assemblies, saucer kickers, trough components. Bally – lane kicker, saucer kicker, standup targets, pop bumper. Capcom – ball guides
Honorable Mention – TileToy
TileToy is “a modular, electronic game prototype for tangible LED game tiles” — consisting of four 2-inch squares, each with an LED matrix system.
Each tile is controlled individually and can be used to transmit information on its own or in groups of several tiles. The assembled tiles transmit wirelessly their individual position in relation to each other and based on that changing information, a central computer, or a dedicated tile runs the different applications.