For the second piece of programming coursework each year we let the students choose between a line of business application or a game. This year the theme was banjos for some reason.
You could either build a stock management system for the "Only Banjo Hire Shop in the Country" or you could create a space invaders type game where you use your trusty accordion to fire notes at deadly attacking banjos coming in from above.
The exercises have been designed so that the learning outcomes for the module can be attained by creating either program and there is a detailed specification for each application. And there is a lot of fun being had with attacking banjos just at the moment.