Conway's Game of Life

Life32 by Johan Bontes

Conway's Game of Life freeware for Windows9x/NT/2000/XP

Version 2.15, last updated August 10, 2002.

There is a European mirror of this page in Holland:


Please send questions and comments on Life32 to Johan Bontes (

The self-installing .exe uses InstallShield to make installation a breeze. The .zip file is provided because of the size difference, and because there really is nothing tricky in the installation.

If you just want to give Life32 a try, the installshield is recommended because it has an easy uninstall feature.

If you don't have a program to handle zip files, have a look at Winzip (shareware) or UltimateZip (freeware).

Downloaded the thing and still have questions?

Read the FAQ

What does Life32 do?

Life32 is a player for Conway's game of life and related cellular automa.

If that does not ring a bell, look here

Life32 is the fastest life player in the world, it is very powerfull and extremely easy to use.

In short, Life32 is the best, fastest, and most user-friendly life player around. But if you need more convincing, here is a list of Features:

Universe size is 1 million x 1 million.

Fastest Windows Life player anywhere; adjustable speed using 1 millisec accurate timer.

Reads and writes patterns written in Xlife 2.0, Life 1.05/1.06, ProLife, MCell, dbLife and even bitmap file formats (.bmp and gif).

Uses Microsoft DirectX to accelerate drawing, with seamless non-DirectX support (albeit that the latter is a lot slower).

Support for multiple universes, so you can have multiple files open at a time.

Adjustable frame dropping increases speed at the cost of smooth animation.

Make a "snapshot" and revert to it later in one button press. Advanced snapshot list maintenance.

"Skip to..." lets you skip to a specific generation fast, both forward and backward.

"Torus..." enables you to play patterns that require a toriod or otherwise bounded universe.

Unlimited playback. Life32 uses the most recent snapshot to recalculate the previous generation.

Change rules using standard text format (23/3, etc.), or check boxes, or a list of interesting rules with descriptions.

Support for Hexagonal, Moore and VonNeumann neighborhoods.

Advanced editing features: cut and paste, drag and drop, etc. Cut and paste to and from text editors -- good for e-mailing patterns.

Scrapbook support where building blocks can be stored and recalled with a single keypress.

Zoom from 10 pixels per cell down to 1/256 sub-pixel. Zoom cursor for selective zooming. Zoom to fit.

Scroll bars and keyboard shortcuts for moving around easily; hand cursor for scrolling in all directions.

"Move to..." lets you jump to any location in the universe, the edges of the pattern, or the center of the pattern.

View and edit pattern descriptions: shows a description to you in the "Open" window before you even open a pattern. View the description again with one click on the "i" button in the tool bar. Edit it in the "Settings" window or in the "Save As..." window.

Lexicon for looking up life jargon.

External programming interface using Automation, write macro's for Life32 from most Win32 programming platforms, e.g. MS Office, VB, C++, Delphi.

Extensive on-line help.

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