Control robots and play retro games with one handy device

iNap Malinka remote/ retro gaming console
(Image credit: Reddit - Leoneq)

Reddit user, Leoneq wanted to build a wireless remote for controlling his robotic headcrab (been there, buddy). So, he made the iNap Malinka. A handheld radio controller that also works well as a handheld retro gaming console.

The Malinka uses a Raspberry Pi-based NRF24L01 transmitter which can be used to control all sorts of radio-controlled doohickies. It has an LCD touchscreen, an HDMI port, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a headphone jack, and, more importantly, Nintendo Switch-styled gamepad controls and joysticks.

Leoneq points out that you can easily install RetroPie or Lakka turning the Malinka into a cell-phone sized retro gaming device. Yeah, it's no Nintendo Switch, but the size (only six inches wide and a half-inch thick) is excellent for someone looking for something significantly smaller than a Steam Deck to play classic console games through emulation.

Leoneq put together a handy little Wiki on Github to get you up and running if you want to build one yourself. The shell and buttons are 3D printed, though the joysticks are borrowed from replacement Nintendo Switch parts. Assembly doesn't seem overly complicated, but it looks like you should take extra care when getting to the soldering and screen mounting portions of the project. 

There's even a version you can 3D print that doesn't have an antenna hole in case you're just looking to build a cute retro gaming handheld instead of a robot and toy car remote. 

Thanks, Tom's Hardware.


Steam Deck review: Our verdict
Steam Deck availability: How to get one
Steam Deck battery life: The real battery life
How loud is the Steam Deck? Say what?
The emulation dream machine: The ultimate emulator
The best budget gaming PC: Price point hero

Jorge Jimenez
Hardware writer, Human Pop-Tart

Jorge is a hardware writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, he's reviewing all sorts of gaming hardware, from laptops with the latest mobile GPUs to gaming chairs with built-in back massagers. He's been covering games and tech for over ten years and has written for Dualshockers, WCCFtech, Tom's Guide, and a bunch of other places on the world wide web.