Memory Game in Java

Memory Game in Java

Playing memory games can improve attention, and concentration and enhance critical thinking. In this article, we will make a Memory game in Java with Swing. This game requires the player to remember the position of different images and try to match two similar images within a limited number of attempts.

Project Overview: Memory Game in Java

Project Name:Memory Game in Java
Abstract:It’s a GUI-based project used with the swing library to organize all the elements that work under the Memory Game.
Language Used:Java
Java version (Recommended):Java SE 18.0. 2.1
Type:Desktop Application
Recommended for:Beginners of Java
Time to build:1-2 hours

What will you learn?

  • Building the logic of the game with the help of conditionals and loops
  • Learn the OOPs paradigm with the help of classes, objects, and inheritance
  • Creating user-friendly graphics with the help of Java Swing and Java AWT


  • The player will be able to flip the pieces and check the image on it
  • If two images do not match then the number of tries left decreases
  • A total of 10 tries are given initially to increase the difficulty of the game
  • 4*4 images are shown and the player needs to match all the images correctly to win
  • For a fresh start, the images are picked and placed randomly in the window

Complete Code for Memory Game in Java

Create a folder for the project and a file with the name Download all the images for the project from here and keep all these images in the project folder. Now, paste the below lines of code into that file. Comments are provided for explanation.

import javax.imageio.ImageIO;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import java.util.*;
import javax.swing.Timer;
class Game {
    public static class Controller {
        final JFrame window;
        Model model;
        View view;
         // Constructor
        public Controller(Model model) {
            this.window = new JFrame("Memory"); // Create the window
            this.window.setDefaultCloseOperation(WindowConstants.EXIT_ON_CLOSE);  // Close the window when the user clicks on the close button
            this.window.setResizable(false); // Disable the resizing of the window
            this.reset(model); // Reset the game
        // Reset the game
        public void reset(Model model) {
            this.model = model; 
            this.view = new View(model);
            for (JButton button : this.model.getButtons()) {
                button.addActionListener(new ButtonActionListener(this));
            Utilities.timer(200, (ignored) -> this.window.setVisible(true)); // Show the window after 200ms
        public JFrame getWindow() {
            return this.window;
        public Model getModel() {
            return this.model;
        public View getView() {
            return this.view;
    public static class Model {
        // Constants for the game
        static final String[] AVAILABLE_IMAGES = new String[]{"0.png", "1.png", "2.png", "3.png", "4.png", "5.png", "6.png", "7.png", "8.png"};
        static final Integer MAX_REGISTERED_SCORES = 10;
        final ArrayList<Float> scores;
        final ArrayList<JButton> buttons;
        final int columns; // Number of columns
        int tries; // Number of tries left
        boolean gameStarted; // Is the game started
        public Model(int columns) {
            this.columns = columns; // Number of columns
            this.buttons = new ArrayList<>(); // List of buttons in the game 
            this.scores = new ArrayList<>(); // List of scores in the game
            this.tries =  10; // Number of tries initially
            this.gameStarted = false; // Game is not started initially
            int numberOfImage = columns * columns; // Number of images
            Vector<Integer> v = new Vector<>(); // Vector to store the images
            for (int i = 0; i < numberOfImage - numberOfImage % 2; i++) { // Add the images twice
                v.add(i % (numberOfImage / 2));
            if (numberOfImage % 2 != 0) v.add(AVAILABLE_IMAGES.length - 1); // Add the last image if the number of images is odd
            // Add the images as a button to the game
            for (int i = 0; i < numberOfImage; i++) { 
                int rand = (int) (Math.random() * v.size()); // Randomly select an image
                String reference = AVAILABLE_IMAGES[v.elementAt(rand)]; // Get the image
                this.buttons.add(new MemoryButton(reference)); // Add the image as a button
                v.removeElementAt(rand); // Remove the image from the vector
        public int getColumns() {
            return columns;
        public ArrayList<JButton> getButtons() {
            return buttons;
        // Get the number of tries left
        public int getTries() {
            return tries;
        // Decrement the tries count by calling this method
        public void decrementTries() {
        // return if the game has started
        public boolean isGameStarted() {
            return this.gameStarted;
        // start the game
        public void startGame() {
            this.gameStarted = true;
    // class to handle the UI of the game
    public static class View extends JPanel {
        final JLabel tries;
        public View(Model model) {
            this.setLayout(new BoxLayout(this, BoxLayout.Y_AXIS));
            this.tries = new JLabel("", SwingConstants.CENTER);
            this.tries.setFont(new Font("MV Boli", Font.BOLD, 30));
            JPanel imagePanel = new JPanel();
            int columns = model.getColumns();
            imagePanel.setLayout(new GridLayout(columns, columns));
            for (JButton button : model.getButtons()) {
            JPanel triesPanel = new JPanel();
            triesPanel.setBackground(new Color(0X8946A6));
        public void setTries(int triesLeft) {
            this.tries.setText("Tries left : " + triesLeft);
    // class to handle the button clicks
    public static class ReferencedIcon extends ImageIcon {
        final String reference;
        public ReferencedIcon(Image image, String reference) { 
            this.reference = reference;
        public String getReference() {
            return reference;
    // class to handle the button on the images
    public static class MemoryButton extends JButton {
        static final String IMAGE_PATH = "";
        static final Image NO_IMAGE = Utilities.loadImage("no_image.png");
        public MemoryButton(String reference) {
            Image image = Utilities.loadImage(IMAGE_PATH + reference);
            Dimension dimension = new Dimension(120, 120);
            this.setIcon(new ImageIcon(NO_IMAGE));
            this.setDisabledIcon(new ReferencedIcon(image, reference));
    public static class Dialogs {
        public static void showLoseDialog(JFrame window) {
            UIManager.put("OptionPane.background", new Color(0XEA99D5));
            UIManager.put("Panel.background", new Color(0XEA99D5));
            JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(window, "You lost, try again !", "You lost !", JOptionPane.INFORMATION_MESSAGE);
        public static void showWinDialog(JFrame window, Model model) {
            String message = String.format("Congrats you won!!");
            UIManager.put("OptionPane.background", new Color(0XEA99D5));
            UIManager.put("Panel.background", new Color(0XEA99D5));
            JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(window.getContentPane(), message, "", JOptionPane.INFORMATION_MESSAGE);
    // class to handle the button clicks
    public static class ButtonActionListener implements ActionListener {
        final Controller controller;
        final Model model;
        final View view;
        final JFrame window;
        static int disabledButtonCount = 0;
        static JButton lastDisabledButton = null;
        static final Image TRAP_IMAGE = Utilities.loadImage("no_image.png");
        final ReferencedIcon trap;
        public ButtonActionListener(Controller controller) {
            this.controller = controller;
            this.model = controller.getModel();
            this.view = controller.getView();
            this.window = controller.getWindow();
            this.trap = new ReferencedIcon(TRAP_IMAGE, "no_image.png");
        // Method to handle the button clicks and check if two images are same
        public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {
            JButton button = (JButton) e.getSource();
            ReferencedIcon thisIcon = (ReferencedIcon) button.getDisabledIcon();
            if (!model.isGameStarted()) { // If the game has not started
                model.startGame(); // Start the game
            if (disabledButtonCount == 2) { // If two buttons are disabled
                ReferencedIcon thatIcon = (ReferencedIcon) lastDisabledButton.getDisabledIcon();
                boolean isPair = thisIcon.getReference().equals(thatIcon.getReference()); // Check if the two images are the same
                if (!isPair) { // If the two images are not the same
                    model.decrementTries(); // Decrement the number of tries
                    view.setTries(model.getTries()); // Update the number of tries
                    JButton lastButton = lastDisabledButton; // Store the last button
                    Utilities.timer(500, ((ignored) -> { // Wait 500ms before re-enabling the buttons
                        button.setEnabled(true); // Re-enable the button
                        lastButton.setEnabled(true); // Re-enable the last button
                disabledButtonCount = 0; // Reset the counter
            ArrayList<JButton> enabledButtons = (ArrayList<JButton>) model.getButtons().stream().filter(Component::isEnabled).collect(Collectors.toList());
            if (enabledButtons.size() == 0) { // If all the buttons are disabled
                controller.reset(new Model(controller.getModel().getColumns())); // Reset the game
                Dialogs.showWinDialog(window, model); // Show the win dialog
            lastDisabledButton = button;    // Store the last button
            if (model.getTries() == 0) { // If the number of tries is 0
                controller.reset(new Model(controller.getModel().getColumns())); // Reset the game
                Dialogs.showLoseDialog(window); // Show the lose dialog
                Utilities.timer(1000, (ignored) -> model.getButtons().forEach(btn -> btn.setEnabled(false))); // Wait 1s before disabling all the buttons
    public static class Utilities {
        static final ClassLoader cl = Utilities.class.getClassLoader();
        // Method to create a timer
        public static void timer(int delay, ActionListener listener) {
            Timer t = new Timer(delay, listener);
        // Method to load an image
        public static Image loadImage(String s) {
            Image image = null;
            try {
                InputStream resourceStream = cl.getResourceAsStream(s);
                if (resourceStream != null) {
                    ImageInputStream imageStream = ImageIO.createImageInputStream(resourceStream);
                    image =;
            } catch (IOException e) {
            return image;
//  Main class to run the game
class Main {
    static final int DEFAULT_SIZE = 4;
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        SwingUtilities.invokeLater(() -> new Game.Controller(new Game.Model(DEFAULT_SIZE)));

Output for Memory Game in Java:

Image Output:

output for Memory Game in Java

Video Output:


Hope you liked building the Memory Game in Java. To make the game more interesting you can try to put a timer and show the total time taken by the player to finish the game completely. All in all, we recommend you try and add more code to make this project more interesting.

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Author: Puja Kumari