It used to be that you needed a well-equipped expensive new beige-box PC if you wanted to play Doom at all. Now, you can do so in a form factor with a footprint smaller than a credit card, as demonstrated by this nifty little build from Adafruit.
The build relies on the Retro-Go firmware for ESP32 devices, which can emulate a range of machines, from the Nintendo NES and Game Boy to the NEC PC Engine, Atari Lynx, and, yes, Doom itself. It can even run Doom mods, via the WAD architecture used by the game.
It was a simple matter of porting Retro-Go to run on the tiny QT Py ESP32 Pico board, and everything fell into place. With six tactile buttons, it’s capable of not just running Doom, but running it at full playable speeds including that classic soundtrack. The 1.3″ 240×240 screen looks surprisingly crisp and does a great job of displaying the game while keeping everything readable.
It’s one of the smaller Doom-capable portables we’ve seen; we reckon you could stuff this in the change pocket in your jeans if you tried hard enough. We’ll never quite get over seeing the world’s most loved FPS running on commercial kitchen hardware, though. Video after the break.