Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzle Collection


This page contains a collection of small computer programs which implement one-player puzzle games. All of them run natively on Unix (GTK) and on Windows. They can also be played on the web, as Java or Javascript applets.

2023-09-20: I'm sorry to say that I'm no longer going to be able to build the MacOS version of these puzzles. My Mac was very old and had been struggling for a while; it's now stopped working, and I don't intend to buy a new one. If someone else would like to volunteer to maintain the Mac front end code and provide a downloadable application, I'll help them get started, and link to their site once it's up and running. Sorry, Mac users. In the meantime, there's always the web version...

I wrote this collection because I thought there should be more small desktop toys available: little games you can pop up in a window and play for two or three minutes while you take a break from whatever else you were doing. And I was also annoyed that every time I found a good game on (say) Unix, it wasn't available the next time I was sitting at a Windows machine, or vice versa; so I arranged that everything in my personal puzzle collection will happily run on both those platforms and more. When I find (or perhaps invent) further puzzle games that I like, they'll be added to this collection and will immediately be available on both platforms. And if anyone feels like writing any other front ends for platforms I don't support (which people already have) then all the games in this framework will immediately become available on another platform as well.

The games

The actual games in this collection were mostly not my invention; they are re-implementations of existing game concepts within my portable puzzle framework. I do not claim credit, in general, for inventing the rules of any of these puzzles. (I don't even claim authorship of all the code; some of the puzzles below have been submitted by other authors.)

Below each image are two links to versions of the puzzle you can potentially play on the web. The 'js' link (and also the puzzle image itself) links to a version based on JavaScript and WebAssembly. The 'java' link is now probably obsolete: it links to a Java applet, which most browsers don't support any more.

Also below each image is a link to the Windows binary for the game, and a link to the manual. For all other platforms, the games are provided in a single bundle, so scroll down to the Download section to get them all.

Black Box
[ java | js | manual ]
[ blackbox.exe ]
Find the hidden balls in the box by bouncing laser beams off them.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ bridges.exe ]
Connect all the islands with a network of bridges.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ cube.exe ]
Pick up all the blue squares by rolling the cube over them.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ dominosa.exe ]
Tile the rectangle with a full set of dominoes.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ fifteen.exe ]
Slide the tiles around to arrange them into order.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ filling.exe ]
Mark every square with the area of its containing region.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ flip.exe ]
Flip groups of squares to light them all up at once.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ flood.exe ]
Turn the grid the same colour in as few flood fills as possible.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ galaxies.exe ]
Divide the grid into rotationally symmetric regions each centred on a dot.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ guess.exe ]
Guess the hidden combination of colours.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ inertia.exe ]
Collect all the gems without running into any of the mines.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ keen.exe ]
Complete the latin square in accordance with the arithmetic clues.
Light Up
[ java | js | manual ]
[ lightup.exe ]
Place bulbs to light up all the squares.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ loopy.exe ]
Draw a single closed loop, given clues about number of adjacent edges.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ magnets.exe ]
Place magnets to satisfy the clues and avoid like poles touching.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ map.exe ]
Colour the map so that adjacent regions are never the same colour.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ mines.exe ]
Find all the mines without treading on any of them.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ mosaic.exe ]
Fill in the grid given clues about number of nearby black squares.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ netgame.exe ]
Rotate each tile to reassemble the network.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ netslide.exe ]
Slide a row at a time to reassemble the network.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ palisade.exe ]
Divide the grid into equal-sized areas in accordance with the clues.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ pattern.exe ]
Fill in the pattern in the grid, given only the lengths of runs of black squares.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ pearl.exe ]
Draw a single closed loop, given clues about corner and straight squares.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ pegs.exe ]
Jump pegs over each other to remove all but one.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ range.exe ]
Place black squares to limit the visible distance from each numbered cell.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ rect.exe ]
Divide the grid into rectangles with areas equal to the numbers.
Same Game
[ java | js | manual ]
[ samegame.exe ]
Clear the grid by removing touching groups of the same colour squares.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ signpost.exe ]
Connect the squares into a path following the arrows.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ singles.exe ]
Black out the right set of duplicate numbers.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ sixteen.exe ]
Slide a row at a time to arrange the tiles into order.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ slant.exe ]
Draw a maze of slanting lines that matches the clues.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ solo.exe ]
Fill in the grid so that each row, column and square block contains one of every digit.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ tents.exe ]
Place a tent next to each tree.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ towers.exe ]
Complete the latin square of towers in accordance with the clues.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ tracks.exe ]
Fill in the railway track according to the clues.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ twiddle.exe ]
Rotate the tiles around themselves to arrange them into order.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ undead.exe ]
Place ghosts, vampires and zombies so that the right numbers of them can be seen in mirrors.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ unequal.exe ]
Complete the latin square in accordance with the > signs.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ unruly.exe ]
Fill in the black and white grid to avoid runs of three.
[ java | js | manual ]
[ untangle.exe ]
Reposition the points so that the lines do not cross.


This game collection is copyright 2004-2021 Simon Tatham (portions copyright Richard Boulton, James Harvey, Mike Pinna, Jonas Kölker, Dariusz Olszewski, Michael Schierl, Lambros Lambrou, Bernd Schmidt, Steffen Bauer, Lennard Sprong, Rogier Goossens, Michael Quevillon, Asher Gordon and Didi Kohen). It is all distributed under the MIT licence. This means that you can do pretty much anything you like with the game binaries or the code, except pretending you wrote them yourself, or suing me if anything goes wrong.


Here are Windows executables of the puzzle games in the collection. (On Windows only, the Net executable is called "netgame.exe" in order to avoid clashing with Windows's own "net.exe". The name of the game is still "Net" :-)

blackbox.exe | bridges.exe | cube.exe | dominosa.exe | fifteen.exe
filling.exe | flip.exe | flood.exe | galaxies.exe | guess.exe
inertia.exe | keen.exe | lightup.exe | loopy.exe | magnets.exe
map.exe | mines.exe | mosaic.exe | netgame.exe | netslide.exe
palisade.exe | pattern.exe | pearl.exe | pegs.exe | range.exe
rect.exe | samegame.exe | signpost.exe | singles.exe | sixteen.exe
slant.exe | solo.exe | tents.exe | towers.exe | tracks.exe
twiddle.exe | undead.exe | unequal.exe | unruly.exe | untangle.exe

Here is a Windows help file. If you install this in the same directory as the executable files, then each game should display a "Help" menu giving help about the game collection in general and that game in particular. You can also browse the same documentation online in HTML format.


Here is a .zip file containing all of the above Windows binaries and the help file.

Here is a Windows MSI installer.


(This MSI installer is unfortunately not inter-compatible with the old Windows executable installer package I used to provide here, so if you still have the old one installed, you'll have to uninstall it before installing the MSI version. Sorry about that.)

Here is a source archive of the collection, which should allow you to compile the games on any Unix system supporting GTK. (At least, I hope so; I've only tested it on Linux so far, and I wouldn't rule out portability issues on other types of Unix.)


Some people have ported this puzzle collection to various mobile devices. Here are some links to their port pages:

(Note that these are third-party ports, not maintained by me. If you have trouble with one of these, you should probably follow the link to the appropriate maintainer's page and contact them about the problem in the first instance.)

Here's the last version of the MacOS puzzles, in the form of a disk image, containing a single monolithic application called "Puzzles". You should be able to download and open the disk image, then drag the Puzzles application to wherever you feel like keeping it; it should be entirely self-contained. However, this is not being updated, because my Mac build machine doesn't work any more.

Puzzles.dmg, as of 2023-09-20


All of these puzzles are written in C, with a porting interface so that the same back-end puzzle code can talk to wildly different graphical front ends. The source archive above includes native GUI front ends for Windows and Mac OS X, an X front end using the GTK+ library, and a mixed C/Java front end for compiling the puzzles into Java applets using NestedVM.

There is extensive developer documentation describing the cross-platform interfaces. If you want to write a new puzzle or a new front end (to make all these games run on another platform), this is probably the place to start.

If you want to see the latest state of development, you can check the development sources out from my git repository:

git clone

Alternatively, you can browse the repository on the web, here.


Please report bugs to

If your bug report involves a particular puzzle being faulty (if you think it has no solution, or more than one solution), please send a saved game file if possible, using the ‘Game > Save’ menu option, or equivalent. Saved game files are much more useful (and smaller) than graphical screenshots: they contain all the information I need to reproduce the game generation and find out what went wrong.

If you can't do that (e.g. if you're playing on the web, which has no save-game feature), please at least copy and paste both the random seed and the game description (from the ‘Random Seed’ and ‘Specific’ menu options, or the ‘Enter game ID’ and ‘Enter random seed’ buttons in the Javascript games).

Also, you might find it helpful to read this article before reporting a bug.

Patches are welcome.

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(thanks to chiark for hosting this page)
(last modified on Sat Mar 30 01:40:21 2024)