Snow Blaster: A Christmas light video game

Programmer Ric Turner is out with another game made from Christmas lights. In this one, you sit in a "electric training sled" wrapped in green and red LEDs and use a game controller to dodge snowballs.

Snow Blaster
It's literally lights out when the game's over. Video screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

The creator of the exceptional Christmas light Guitar Hero game from last year is at it again.

Behold Snowball Blaster, a 26,000 LED- and incandescent-bulb Christmas light game by Ric Turner. The 50-year-old programmer, who has gotten nearly 3 million views on his YouTube channel, has become something of an Internet legend for making "video games" out of real Christmas lights. In his latest merriment, you sit in a "electric training sled" wrapped in green and red LEDs. Anyone else think it could be a side car for a Tron bike ?

Players sit in the motorized seat and use a game controller to dodge snowballs. It's pretty wild because Turner really has the game instructions (spoken in a funny voice), music, and lights coordinated and played through speakers as shown in the video below. It's even broadcast on FM so people in cars can watch and listen. The audio "does not blast through the neighborhood," according to Turner, but you have to wonder if the neighbors are in agony.

To play, you just guide the red arrow side to side to rack up the points (shown on an illuminated scoreboard) and reach the end. The game seems easy enough to beat, but "nobody has done it yet," Turner says.

The setup is controlled by Basic Stamp microcontrollers, a PC, and a dose of ingeniousness. The bill isn't too bad, either, as the flashing lights cost "about 1/2 cent per game, depending on how far you get."

You'd definitely be the toast of the neighborhood with this dazzling display. But it also looks like you'd have to forfeit your garage door and driveway.

About the author

Crave contributor Christopher MacManus regularly spends his time exploring the latest in science, gaming, and geek culture -- aiming to provide a fun and informative look at some of the most marvelous subjects from around the world.

 

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