beanz Magazine

Hack Your Own Operation Game

Chris Isherwood on Flickr

Create a new and improved variation of the classic 1960s board game with micro:bit.

What will you need for this project?

  • A microbit
  • Micro USB lead to connect micro:bit to computer
  • An LED
  • 6 x Crocodile Clips
  • A 3.5mm Powered Speaker
  • Metal Tweezers
  • An Operation board game

All of the code for this project and a high resolution circuit diagram can be found at

Setup on the dinner table and ready to run our patient is just waiting for a surgeon with the right skills to help them!
Our circuit is relatively simple to build, just take each connection step by step and you won’t go wrong!


In this project we shall reuse an old Operation board game, a game that was first sold in 1965! Typically you can find this game in thrift stores, yard sales and attics and it shouldn’t cost you more than a few dollars.

The game focuses on removing items from a poor patient using metal tweezers. These tweezers are connected to a battery and carry 3V of electricity (2xAA batteries) when these tweezers are used to remove an item the “surgeon” has to be careful as around the “wounds” there is a metal frame which is also connected to circuit as our tweezers. If the surgeon touches the metal with the tweezers the the circuit is completed and the buzzer goes off, and the nose lights up. This is fun, but we can make it better using micro:bit.

So using a micro:bit we shall replace the buzzer with synthesised speech, and give the patient a nose job with a new LED. We shall be using crocodile clips to make our circuit, and we shall code the project using micro Python, a form of Python 3 for microcontrollers such as the micro:bit.

What’s great about this project is that it is non-destructive meaning that our game can return to normal.


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