Huge update on my Arcade Retro Clock


I have been working on and off on a little project, using Raspberry Pi A+ and Unicorn Hats (I have about 20!).

The project started out as a retro arcade clock, but it morphed into much more. So far I have 8 “games” that the system plays, plus many animations. It also tells the time!

I will put together a video demo and share it here. What I am wondering is what do I do next with this project? I coded everything in python, re-inventing many wheels I am sure. I have a system that lets me draw animated full color sprites, have virtual playfields many times larger than the display, have a moving camera that displays all objects within an 8x8 section of the playfield, etc. The objects in the playfield interact with each other using even when off screen.

The clock plays games inspired by:

  • pacman
  • space invaders
  • astrosmash
  • snakes
  • tron light cycle
  • berzerk
  • Rallyx
  • Virus Outbreak

Here is the video:


I have a Unicorn Hat HD here I want to scroll some text messages on and display info from a BME680.
Example " The Temperature is (temp reading from BME680)" Haven’t had a lot of success though.
I’d very interested in seeing your python code if you don’t mind sharing it?
I have an A+ with a Sense Hat attached setup as a weather clock. It displays the day, date, time, temp, etc in a continuously scrolling message on the sense hat 8x8 LED matrix. I want to eventually replace the sense hat with the 16 x 16 Unicorn Hat HD. I’ll be honest and say I haven’t spent a lot of time on this so far. Seeing what you did may inspire me to get back at it though. ;) =)


I have to figure out what I want to do with my code. Do I want to release the whole thing to the world? Do I want to sell it (super cheap) to people? I am a software developer by trade, and love buying software. I also support open source projects too.

I’ll make up my mind soon. More than likely release the code to the world.


Thats cool, I see where your coming from. I can respect that. I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask. ;)
I’d still like to see any video’s of your games etc, even if you keep your code private. =)


Here is a video.


Nice, really nice, thanks for the link. =)


Do you have a Unicorn hat, or just the Unicorn hat HD? I am working on converting some of my code to run on the HD.


Just the one HD. I wanted the 16 x 16 as an upgarde from the Sense hats 8 x 8 LED matrix. Bigger better brighter, lol.



Mines the 16 x 16. I appreciate the code upload anyway. Its always nice when people share their code. Thumbs up. =)


I forked my code, and also have it running on the 16x16, making phenominal improvements as I go along. Findings lots of bugs and logic errors. It will be ready for release in a month or two.


I was hoping Pimoroni would demo the code internally and trade it for some hardware, but they didn’t get back to me. So why wait? Let the world enjoy.


Looking forward to testing it out. I’ve hardly done anything with my Unicorn Hat HD, other than make sure it was fully functional. I got sidetracked on other things. Thats the way it goes some times.


I have the normal unicornHAT - will try firing this up shortly.

But, BUT… i would love for this to go bigger? How deep is this built into the Unicorns libraries?
I ask because i am building a clock for my kids now, a 32x64 LED matrix, and this would be very interesting spread across that!!!


I upgraded my code to run on the UnicornHD, so 16x16. My next project is connecting two Ubercorn’s to give 16x32.

I am sure with a few days of tweaking I can get it to run on another platform. The newer games keep track of everything in a virtual world, then a “camera” writes a 16x16 snapshot of what should be displayed to the buffer, then the buffer is displayed. That buffer code is pretty straightforward and can be swapped out.

I have a 64x32 adafruit board as well.