Space invaders played on a 16×2 character display


This Space Invaders game does more with less. [Rjk79] managed to make a video game using a two-line character display. The game consists of a wave of invaders on the top line, with the defender cannon on the bottom. The invader isn’t just stationary, but randomly moves to the left and the right. The image above captured a little bit of motion blur from the defender moving into position before firing on the enemy.

An Arduino board controls the 16×2 HD44780 character display. The game also includes sounds generated by the piezo buzzer seen on the breadboard. All the way to the right you can see the Wii Nunchuk breakout board which provides directional control and the firing trigger. If you want to recreate this one for yourself [Rjk79] is sharing the source code on Pastebin. There’s also a demo video found after the jump.

If you don’t have a character LCD on hand you might try this other Space Invaders clone that uses an 8×8 led matrix.

Space invaders on 16x2 Character LCD

9 thoughts on “Space invaders played on a 16×2 character display

  1. Wouldn’t it make more sense to play it 2×16 rather than 16×2? Nice graphics within the limits of the display though, good job.

  2. this is a very funny way to use the 2×16.
    which other games could be possible?

    A Text adventure where on the firstline the Story Text is scrolling, and on the second One the items.



  3. You know, IIRC you can have 8 custom characters. If you play with this you can get a 16×4 display. Just create combinations of spaceships in characters. It’s fun :)

    1. I’m not sure how many custom characters are allowed, but I have used 8 in the code, 3 of which are different types of enemies (the others being the gun and various shooting effects). I posted this on Reddit and someone mentioned the idea of scaling it up to a larger lcd, so I have been looking to find a larger lcd that would work with my limited Arduino skills and thinking about ideas that could be implemented using that extra space.

      1. You can get displays with 8×40 with the same interface (but the 8×40 uses 2 controller chips)
        You can only use up to 8 custom characters. Else you need to go to a grahical LCD, which also has an arduino library.

        (I’ve done 4 column tetris with a 16×2 display, also a fun to code)

  4. There is a 20 × 4 HD44780 (from popular online hobby stores) and you might have enough pins for a piezo speaker to add some sound effects. I would like to hear how you make out with it.

  5. The LCD doesn’t display the proper things. I hooked it up all right, but I get a whole bunch of random things on one line.

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