Raspberry Pi Pico Powers Online Game Boy Multiplayer Tetris

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Stacksmashing)

We've all been there before—you want to play Tetris with your friends but a 20 mile Game Boy link cable is impractical. That's where Stacksmashing's incredibly clever Raspberry Pi Pico project comes into play.

The best Raspberry Pi projects are ones that bring us together, especially right now. Stacksmashing's using a Raspberry Pi Pico to act as a link cable, capable of connecting two or more friends online. That means you and your buddies can play Tetris against each other in real-time on actual GameBoys from all over the world!

Developing the project involved reverse-engineering the data from an actual link cable. The Raspberry Pi Pico interprets this data and can handle online Game Boy communication for the game of Tetris via a desktop client and server app. This tool is at the center of the project. All of the players connect through this locally hosted hub. In a demo, Stacksmashing managed to get three Game Boys playing Tetris competitively at the same time!

In order to connect a Game Boy to the server, a custom PCB was created. It's compatible with Game Boys, Game Boy Colors, Game Boy Pockets, Game Boy Advances and even Game Boy Advance SPs. The PCB is soldered to a Pico which communicates with the computer over USB.

You can buy this custom PCB on Gum Road and explore the code used in the desktop server and client apps on GitHub.

Ash Hill
Contributing Writer

Ash Hill is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.