Lucas the Maker Kid is back. This time, he’s sharing a DIY Gamer Kit review based on the product from the British Company, Technology Will Save Us. It’s an item I was offered for review and sent along to him for the kids-eye view.
DIY Gamer Kit Review
Last year, I bought the DIY Gamer Kit by Technology Will Save Us from the Exploratorium store in San Francisco. My kit did not come pre-soldered, meaning I would have to solder all the parts myself. To me, that’s part of the fun. When I got home, I couldn’t wait to open it and try it out. I went to bed excited that day.
The next day, I opened it and took out all the parts, making sure that they were all there and then I organized them. I looked for an instructions manual, but there was none. Then I saw the link to the manual on the side of the box and printed them out, using up almost half a stack of paper. I took the stack back to the table I had set up in the garage and got to work. I was in there for almost five hours, soldering and soldering. I even ate dinner in there but eventually, I finished the Gamer Kit.
But after all that effort, it didn’t work! I did the entire kit by myself. Maybe if my dad had helped me, it would have worked, as my dad would have caught all of my mistakes.
A year later, I received the pre-soldered version of the DIY Gamer Kit from The Maker Mom. What a difference! While I actually enjoy soldering, it was nice that I didn’t have to spend hours de-soldering any mistakes this time. Not having to solder saved me time and I quickly assembled the gamer and got right down to playing with it. It was really cool.
DIY Gamer Kit (ready soldered) versus DIY Gamer Kit (from scratch)
I am very lucky to have had the chance to try out the DIY Gamer Kit (from scratch) and the DIY Gamer Kit (ready soldered). Both versions are fun. The DIY Gamer Kit that’s pre-soldered is a little bit more expensive. The DIY Gamer Kit from scratch means you need to do all the soldering yourself and you don’t have to pay for the labor.
If you buy the DIY Gamer Kit pre-soldered, you can start playing games almost right away. You just assemble everything and add some code. It doesn’t take long to assemble and it’s very fun to play. I like building something people can’t buy in stores. Many kids have electronic gaming devices but the DIY Gamer Kit is something unique.
If you buy the DIY Gamer Kit that you solder yourself, make sure you have basic soldering skills or have access to an adult who can lead you through it. It might take an hour or it might take five hours (like it did for me) and in the end, as happened to me, it might not work at all. But guess what? I’d rather put in the effort to do it start to finish, even if I messed up along the way and never got it to work because I enjoy the whole process of making things.
Here’s an example. I am a big gamer. Would I build my own gaming device that’s 8-bit when I could just fire up my iPhone and start playing Geometry Dash? Sure, but did I make that iPhone? No! Did I make Geometry Dash? No! But for the DIY Gaming Kit, yes, I made the device. I made the game, did the soldering and coded. (If you want, after you are done, you can reward yourself with a big bowl of ice cream.) But the real reward is the accomplishment of making the gaming device, whether you did the soldering yourself and/or the coding. Just how much you want to do it up to you.
But either way, with or without an Arduino, the DIY Gaming Kit will make you feel like the cool kid!
Recommended for ages 12 and up. Buy on Amazon (affiliate link).