Arcade Coder is a board of chunky LEDs for kids that’s part programmable console, part digital canvas

Make light work
30 August 2019 / 9:00BST

You might think you know what a games console looks like – a slab of plastic you chuck under the telly or hold in your mitts, with a D-pad and standard selection of face buttons. Not Arcade Coder (from £80). This oddball contraption is a board of 144 chunky LEDs, making for a tactile illuminated experience for up to four players. It comes complete with classic fare – including Pong, Snake and Whack-A-Mole – but the magic really happens when you delve into iOS app Game Studio. There, your kid can design, customise and code their own games, either based on existing templates, or entirely from scratch. And if that doesn’t satisfy your nipper’s creative urges, there’s a Painter Mode, too, for fashioning dazzling multi-coloured lightshows. Strap the Arcade Coder to your kid’s face and they can then become the next incarnation of Orbital. Probably.