Developing an electronic board game

[Zach] enjoys playing the game Catch Phrase, but the complexity of the words makes this game a no-go for the little ones. We remember that the game used to be mechanical, using paper disks with the words on them. Those would be easy to recreate with your own dictionary set, but since it has transitioned to an electronic unit that option is out the window. So [Zach] decided to build his own version of the game that lets you use custom word sets after drawing inspiration from another Catch Phrase hack.

He’s calling it AVRphrase since it uses an AVR ATmega328. You’ll also find five buttons, a piezo buzzer, and a character LCD included in the design. He saw the project all the way through to the end, having a PCB manufactured, and installing it in a project box. A demonstration of the finished game can be seen after the break. [Zach] ended up with 9 working units at a cost of about $30 each.

[Read more...]

Adding words to Catch Phrase

[Brandon Meyer] spared no expense in modding the Catch Phrase game to use custom word lists. The altered version of the game, normal sold for around $25, now comes in at a whopping $230! That’s because the internals were gutted and replaced with an Arduino, 20×2 LCD display, and some other interesting bits. The device now features an SD slot for storing your own lists and a USB port for programming.

At first glance we were hoping some simple EEPROM hacking had unlocked the secrets of the device but that wasn’t he case. We’d love to see some more economical versions of [Brandon's] prototype. Perhaps reusing the original LCD, replacing the Arduino with the ATmega168 that makes up its core, and using a diy SD cradle for a card reader.

So yes, this version is a bit of overkill but still very nicely done!

[Thanks Zoidberg]

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