Mechanical Donkey Kong By Martin Raynsford

It’s not 8-bit, but wood-bit. Here’s a mechanical version of an arcade classic from a talented U.K. builder.

Mechanical Donkey Kong v1 image 1

There are a whole lot of ports for Donkey Kong – from ColecoVision, Game Boy, Wii Virtual Console, and more platforms than I can count on my fingers – but this one from Martin Raynsford has to be quirkiest of the software bunch. By a mile.

Martin’s representation of the 1981 arcade gaming monolith is fully analog; built from laser-cut wood prints and mechanical parts. Such as the ball-bearing launcher that’s a real-world stand-in for the tumbling barrels that get thrown your way in-game. Not entirely one-to-one, but hey, miniature wooden barrels are kind of hard to come by in this economy, I’ll have you know.

This clockwork-esque action is all manipulated by a NES gamepad using a micro-controlling software called Arduino, allowing Mario (or Jumpman) to ascend towards his brute gorilla rival on high. Well, hopefully, in the near future that is. You see, this is simply version 1.0 and only has our favorite plumber jumping in a single place. Almost wooden-like you could say.

Mechanical Donkey Kong v1 image 2

Version 2.0 meanwhile, which Martin is already hard at work on, should remedy all that and mimic the gameplay of its digital counterpart by the time it gets finished for next year’s UK Marker Faire. And if it already looks this good thus far, well, I can’t wait to see it when its 100 percent complete. It’s going to be outstanding.

Here’s brief video of version 1.0 at work. Just look at Mario jump. Look at him! He’s hopping mad!

As with every passion-driven project I come across on the web, I beg you give Martin’s own blogsite some more hits, find out his other past builds, and ask any further questions you might have for him. He seems like a good bloke. Just like all us good blokes at Walyou. Why else would we spend all day following new nerdy interests just for you?

We care that much with shining examples like GPS shoes that help you find home and the latest Tokyoflash watch that much like their others is a striking timepiece.