Simone – The Numerical Memory Game


After spending some time with the TM1638 LED display modules, the thoughts wandered to what sort of games they could be used with. The numbers and buttons merged into the thought of a number memory game – similar in theory of the popular “Simon” game by Milton Bradley:

Now back to the future. Instead of having four colours to blink in a certain sequence, our “Simone” game will randomly choose eight digits from one to eight. Then it (she?) will blink them across the module from left to right. At first the game starts with one digit, then two, all the way to eight. After the numbers have been displayed the user needs to key in the matching sequence of digits using the eight buttons below the display.

The purpose of this game is to simply test the user’s short term memory. When the game first starts the user is prompted to select a level, from one being the easiest to eight the most difficult. The greater the level, the less amount of time between the display of the digits to remember. This sounds odd but wait until the video at the end of this article for a demonstration.


All you need is a regular Arduino or compatible board of some sort, the TM1638 display module, and if you like beeps a piezo buzzer. I have mounted the buzzer and a header for the display on a protoshield, with the buzzer connected to digital eleven:


The Arduino sketch was written in v23 and is as follows (download):

// simple numerical memory game using TM1638 LED display and Arduino style board // John Boxall CC by-sa-nc | March 2012
#include <TM1638.h> // See // define a TM1638 module on data pin 8, clock pin 7 and strobe pin 6 TM1638 module(8, 7, 6);
byte buttons; int level;
void setup() { pinMode(11, OUTPUT); // for piezo buzzer randomSeed(analogRead(0)); // for random number generator preGame(); }
void preGame() { // say Hello and get the level the user wants to play // the level is the number of milliseconds between displaying each number to remember module.setDisplayToString(" HELLO ", 1); for (int z=1; z<5; z++) { piezoBeep(z); } module.setDisplayToString(" LEVEL? ", 0); do // wait for user to select level { buttons=module.getButtons(); } while (buttons==0); switch(buttons) { case 1: level=1000; break; case 2: level=900; break; case 4: level=800; break; case 8: level=700; break; case 16: level=600; break; case 32: level=500; break; case 64: level=400; break; case 128: level=300; break; } module.clearDisplay(); }
void piezoBeep(int type) // used to make beeps { long duration=250000; int freq; switch(type) { case 1: freq = 600; break; case 2: freq = 700; break; case 3: freq = 800; break; case 4: freq = 900; break; case 5: freq = 1000; break; case 6: freq = 1100; break; case 7: freq = 1200; break; case 8: freq = 1300; break; } int period = (1.0 / freq) * 1000000; long elapsed_time = 0; while (elapsed_time < duration) { digitalWrite(11,HIGH); delayMicroseconds(period / 2); digitalWrite(11, LOW); delayMicroseconds(period / 2); elapsed_time += (period); } }
void playGame() { int gameNumbers[9]; // stores numbers to remember int userNumbers[9]; // stores users' presses int count=1; // tracks number of digits per round int z; // for various loops etc. boolean correct=true; delay(1000);  do { for (int z=1; z<9; z++) // get random numbers for game { gameNumbers[z]=random(1,9); } // display numbers to remember for (int i=1; i<=count; i++) { module.setDisplayDigit(gameNumbers[i],(i-1), false); piezoBeep(gameNumbers[i]); delay(level); module.clearDisplay(); } // get user attempts for (z=1; z<=count; z++) { do // wait for user to press button { buttons=module.getButtons(); } while (buttons==0); delay(300); // for debounce switch(buttons) { case 1: userNumbers[z]=1; break; case 2: userNumbers[z]=2; break; case 4: userNumbers[z]=3; break; case 8: userNumbers[z]=4; break; case 16: userNumbers[z]=5; break; case 32: userNumbers[z]=6; break; case 64: userNumbers[z]=7; break; case 128: userNumbers[z]=8; break; } module.setDisplayDigit(userNumbers[z],(z-1), false); delay(200); module.clearDisplay(); } // check for incorrect entries for (int z=1; z<=count; z++) { if (userNumbers[z]!=gameNumbers[z]) { correct=false; } } count++; } while ((correct==true) && (count<9)); delay(1000); if (correct==true) { module.setDisplayToString("YOU WIN ", 0); } if (correct==false) { module.setDisplayToString("YOU LOSE", 0); } delay(1000); module.setDisplayToString("GO AGAIN", 0); delay(1000); module.clearDisplay(); }
void loop() { playGame(); delay(1000); }

The sketch isn’t anything special, and gives the user the framework for perhaps something more involved or customised. Or at least a good distraction from doing some real work. *ahem* However here it is in action:


Although the “Simone” game was quite simple, and a quick knock-up job – I’m sure those of you with more imagination could have some fun with the sketch and so on. It is easy to follow and another interesting use of thedisplay modules – the best $10 I’ve spent for some time.

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By John Boxall

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