Playing Simon on a hacked children’s farm toy

Who could ever forget Simon, the electronic game of memory skill that became an iconic pop culture fixture of the ‘70s and ‘80s? Through the years, however, the game can go from enjoyable to annoying incredibly fast. As a result, a user by the name of Magic Smoke decided trick out one of his children’s plastic farm toys with an MCU brain to play the game of Simon.


“One of the marvels of parenthood is the sheer volume of noisy plastic junk that gets thrown your kids’ way. It makes tremendous hacking fodder. For a while I had been watching to see if either of my daughters still expressed any interest in this moo-ing, oinking, polyethylene monstrosity. When the moment was right I grabbed it for re-purposing,” the Maker writes.


In order to bring his idea to life, Magic Smoke selected an Atmel ATtiny2313 to serve as the brains as it “had plenty of I/O pins so that no multiplexing would be necessary.” The code would also easily fit in the tinyAVR’s 2K of flash memory, while the 256 bytes of RAM could store enough moves for “the most elephantine of memories.”

Meanwhile, each stall was fitted with ultra-bright LEDs to help a user follow along. See it in action below!

Do you have a child’s game you’d love to hack? Access the entire step-by-step build from our friends at here.

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