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Essential Reading

There are many nice books out there, but a few of them contain such wisdom that I just must mention them here:

Feb '08

Life As War

Ever wondered what Conway's Game of Life would be if two tribes of cells would fight for dominance ? Well now is your chance. Devise cunning groups of cells that quickly expand so that you can claim the blue area. Unfortunately your opponent tries the same with yours :-)

The original Game of Life is 'played' on a grid using just four rules :
  • Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies.
  • Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies.
  • Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives.
  • Any dead cell with three live neighbours comes to life.
There are a great many combinations of cells that exhibit life like qualities. Some are even quite useful in the game :-)


The game is controlled using the mouse.
The objective is to claim at least 96% of the board.

You can only control the part of the board that is red. By clicking on an empty cell you will place a living one from the inventory. By clicking on an living cell you will remove it from the board and into the inventory. You need to form groups of cells that expand into the blue area.

Requirements : Java Runtime Environment 1.5 or better.
Technologies : J2SE 1.5, Retroguard, Eclipse IDE

Play / Download

Play it online using Java WebStart or download the executable jar file here .


To win the game you need to know at least some basic shapes and their usage. There are many more and there are some excellent resources online.

The block is useful for defence and as a part of other groups. You can create it using 3 cells.
The line oscillates and is useful for creating gliders.
This hive expands nicely when provoked. It is easily created using a length 4 line.
The glider is excellent for expanding into enemy territory.
This easy to create shape expands nicely.
To create this constellation of cells you need a little practice but it gives a big bang.

This game was a contestant in the J4K 2008 competition.

Media Mentions