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Retro Video Games 👾

Retro video games

There is no doubt video games are pretty awesome right now. Bigger than Hollywood, by some metrics. But of course we're nostalgic for the old days. Sonic soaring over spikepits. Finding a secret tunnel under a bush in Zelda. Learning to drift in Mario Kart. Up up down down left right left right B A.

Each week in April we'll be picking a different retro video game as the weekly challenge prompt. Take them as inspiration do do whatever you like!

To participate: Create a Pen → and tag it codepenchallenge and the weekly tag. We'll be watching and sharing the best stuff on our blog, Twitter, and Instagram (Use the #CodePenChallenge tag on Twitter and Instagram as well).

This challenge's tag: cpc-pong


Easy to learn but tricky to master, Pong was one of the very first video games you could play at home. This minimal classic brought the game of ping pong to the arcades and tv!


  1. Pong's simplicity makes it ripe for a mashups with other games. Ever seen kingPenguin's Pacapong? ⬅ You really need to see that.
  2. Could you build a game like Pong that two people can play on the same keyboard? Or across a network? Check out WebSockets or realtime services that help with that kind of thing.
  3. Take a new game back to the 70s and style it like Pong.


“Stop bouncing around between your desk, your printer, and your scanner. Simplify work.”

Good advice from our sponsor this month: HelloSign. Here's some resources they recommend:

Weird pong

Past Weeks

This challenge's tag: cpc-pac-man


A landmark video game if there ever was one, generating billions of dollars one quarter at a time. Popular immediately in it's 1980 release, and just as fun today. The little yellow chomper eats through a maze of pellets trying to clear the board of them before being touched by a cast of colored ghosts.


  1. Try to literally code a simple Pac-Man style game! Exploring <canvas> might be an interesting choice.
  2. He's a moving pie chart, right?
  3. Take some glitchy art direction from the famous Level 256 kill screen and buffer overflow bug.
  4. Blinky, Pinky, Inky, Clyde. Different colors, yes, but also different personalities in the sense that they were programmed to chase you differently. That could be fun to experiment with!
  5. Pac-Man is so flat, what would he look like in a 3-D world? Inexplicably, they've made a number of Pac-Man movies. Pac-Man: The Movie, not to be confused with Pac-Man the Movie, and Pixels.


“If software is eating the world then API's are feeding the world.”

That's a great quote from our sponsor this month: HelloSign. Here's some resources they recommend:

Amd pacman jpg
This challenge's tag: cpc-dk

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong looms large over the video game world as one of the very first platformers. And, did you know Mario made his debut in this game? Yep, everybody’s favorite pixelated plumber was “Jumpman” in the first Donkey Kong game, dodging barrels on his way to save the day!


  1. “Donkey Kong, without question, is the hardest game” - Billy Mitchell, King of Kong. Can you make one even harder? Check out Johan Tirholm's "Unruly Tower" platformer. It's very not easy.
  2. The Donkey Kong leaderboard was the place to be in the early 80s. Try recreating Alex Lockwood's take on it.
  3. Have you heard of the Web Audio API? Donkey Kong chiptunes are pretty iconic. Perhaps try playing around with it in Tone.js.


HelloSign API: Great for your security, great for your developers, great for your customers - It's on like Donkey Kong!

Thanks to HelloSign for the sponsorship this month. Here's some resources they recommend:

Donkey kong
This challenge's tag: cpc-pb


The paperboy had one mission: deliver newspapers without crashing his bike in a neighborhood filled with obstacles. What stood in his way? A unicyclist! Speeding cars! Brawling punks! Robbers! The paperboy faced it all.


  1. What was the paperboy delivering? A big ol' stack of the original grid layout.
  2. Paperboy stood out for its unusual cabinet design - the joystick was a set of bicycle handlebars
  3. Give Paperboy some 21st century obstacles: drones, self-driving cars, texting-while-walking...


Paperboy delivered in the 80s, HelloSign API delivers today.

Thanks to HelloSign for the sponsorship this month. Here's some resources they recommend: