Adafruit has a knack. They have a knack for writing great getting-started guides for their boards. And they have a knack for turning out boards with so many inputs and outputs included, you often don’t even need to wire in additional components to make a project with one.
The PyGamer takes that same approach, but the grab-bag of parts they’ve chosen to add on board is hardly random. Screen? Check. Thumbstick? Check. Four buttons labeled A, B, Select, Start, check.
Yes, there are pins so you can wire up additional parts, but I expect half the PyGamers ever made won’t ever see those used. This is an open source gaming console.
The PyGamer continues AdaFruit’s push to give programmers options: Already comfortable with Arduino? It works here. Prefer Python? It might be even easier. And for the PyGamer, there’s a third option: Microsoft MakeCode Arcade.
Of the three, that last one deserves note: If creating your own handheld game is the reason to grab a PyGamer, MakeCode has a head start on the other options, with dozens of sample games to study and modify. Its block-programming interface will be a welcome sight to many younger coders, a turn-off to others. Adafruit has a few sample python games on their website for makers to explore and build on.
For those who prefer Arduino coding, Adafruit offers a guide to get games from the ArduBoy community installed on your PyGamer. ArduBoy, a Arduino-compatible handheld console that launched in 2016, boasts a catalog of more than 100 fan-created games.