Line Wobbler

Line Wobbler is a one-dimensional dungeon crawler game with a unique wobble controller made out of a door-stopper spring and a several meter long ultrabright LED strip display. The entire game runs on an arduino, including sound, particle effects and 60+fps.

It's been exhibited in quite a few places now (such as the Experimental Gameplay Workshop at GDC 2015, Burning Man 2015, London, Chicago and Oslo) and won two prizes at the AMAZE Awards 2015 in Berlin.

Line Wobbler has won the Game Design Award at IndieCade 2015 in Los Angeles, and the Best Game Design, Best Presentation, and the Audience Awards at Sense Of Wonder Night at the Tokyo Game Show 2016.

Line Wobbler Newsletter:

The Controller

Using a spring, an accelerometer and a rigid surface, the Wobble controller is a tactile and surprisingly precise joystick with a unique 'wobble' action (pull it back and let go to make it oscillate back and forth rapidly). It is this wobble action that is core to the experience and the game we have created for it. Initially made out of a shoe-tree spring and door-stopper springs, I'm now using custom made springs that have been designed specifically for Line Wobbler. Fun fact: the original inspiration for the controller came from this cat video.

The Display

We use a long strip of densely packed LEDs, which are both super™ bright and physically flexible. Using selective brightness for specific particle effects, we evoke the retro-feeling of vector-displays (remember the bullets in asteroids? Very satisfying!).

The flexibility of the strip allows us to incorporate physical space into the game by bending and looping the display around objects and walls, and modifying in-game objects according to the strips' orientation, breaking out of the rigid linearity that a 1D display imposes.

Note: The display is actually so bright that it's quite hard to film and take photos of it, appearing a bit washed-out on the media below.

Line Wobbler Gameplay

The game is a one-dimensional dungeon-crawler where the player navigates obstacles and fights enemies to reach the exit. Movement is controlled by bending the Wobble controller left and right, while enemies are attacked by wobbling. Obstacles such as lava fields, conveyor belts and slopes (which can be modelled according to how the strip is placed in real life) challenge the navigation skills of the player.

The sound effects are basic modulations of sine-waves, whose frequency is directly controlled by the acceleration of the controller, enhancing the wobble effect.

Gameplay video from a Warehouse Gaming Party in London:

Here I introduce the game and Anton plays the first few levels:

(Photo by Robert Puteanu)

Multiplayer Games in Development

I've started making more wobble controllers, and I'm experimenting with multiplayer concepts, such as deadly tennis:

More Photos & Videos

FLickr Album of the Line Wobbler at various parties

Early prototype during the game jam:


Awards & Prizes

  • Best Game at Game Jam, Valleskilde, DK, Nov 2014
  • WTF?! Award at AMAZE Berlin, Arpil 2015
  • Audience Award at AMAZE Berlin, April 2015
  • GameZfestival Creative Award Zürich, Oct 2015
  • Jury Selection at the Japan Media & Arts Festival, Tokyo, Feb 2016
  • Best Game Design Award, Sense Of Wonder Night, Tokyo Game Show 2016, Japan
  • Best Presentation Award, Sense Of Wonder Night, Tokyo Game Show 2016, Japan
  • Audience Award, Sense Of Wonder Night, Tokyo Game Show 2016, Japan
  • Game Media Award, Famitsu Weekly at Tokyo Game Show 2016, Japan

Press and Feedback


  • Rock Paper Shotgun: “Cat Video-Inspired One Dimensional Dungeon Crawler”
  • The Verge: “It is one of the coolest, simplest things on display at the 2015 Game Developers Conference.”
  • Gizmodo: “Line Wobbler is a surprisingly excellent example of minimalist game design done right.”
  • Eurogamer: “endlessly addictive”
  • Destructoid: “The unexpected thing is that this works really well.”
  • The Guardian: “It’s a crowd-pleasing spectacle that’s genuinely fun.”
  • Daily Dot: “This year's star, without a doubt, was Line Wobbler”

Youtube interviews:



  • Tim Schafer: “Line Wobbler was one of MY favorite things from GDC.”
  • Jamil Moledina: “My Best Game of GDC Award goes to @Robin_B's Line Wobbler, a freshly innovative+fun 1D game”
  • Pendleton Ward: “I love Line Wobbler! It's easy to imagine a Line Wobbler in every home. I'm excited for that future to pan out.”

International Press:

Getting your hands on the Wobbler

The Line Wobbler is being exhibited at the Game Science Center in Berlin, Germany.

I also have a few prototypes in London, UK, that I show at events occasionally.

Currently I'm hand-producing a small batch of copies, so please send me an email (robin.baumgarten at gmail) if you're interested in showing the Line Wobbler!


Controller, Audio, Hardware, Game Design: Robin Baumgarten

Initial Game & Level Design, Display idea: Matthias Maschek

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