Golly is an open source, cross-platform application for exploring Conway's Game of Life and many other types of cellular automata.
Supports bounded and unbounded universes, with cells of up to 256 states.
Supports multiple algorithms, including Bill Gosper's super fast hashlife algorithm.
Many different types of CA are included: John von Neumann's 29-state CA, Wolfram's 1D rules, WireWorld, Generations, Langton's Loops, Larger than Life, etc.
Reads RLE, macrocell, Life 1.05/1.06, dblife, and MCell files.
Can extract patterns and rules from zip files.
Can download patterns and rules from online archives.
Includes a state-of-the-art pattern collection.
Extensive help, with an integrated Life Lexicon.
Includes a new Super algorithm.
The Larger than Life algorithm now supports HROT format rules,
B0 emulation and many new neighborhoods including weighted
and custom neighborhoods.
Ratings and Reviews
Best Game of Life for iPad
I looked at every Conway’s Game of Life app, and this is by far the best. Not only does it allow a huge field that’s very easy to zoom in to draw, but you can switch between Draw and Move modes so you don’t accidentally draw while you’re trying to zoom in or out. Of course it comes with all the other features you’d expect but a lot of GOL don’t have.
A pretty large library of patterns comes with it, and as a bonus there’s documentation on each pattern.
And best of all, you can even change the ruleset to explore other interesting universes.
Best GOL (game of life)
To those of you NOT already familiar with Conway's Game of Life, this is not an actual game. It is a simulation of cellular automata. You'll want to do a bit of research before you'll want this app. I suggest running a glider with pencil and graph paper for a few generations, so that you really appreciate this app. :-)
I downloaded a bunch of GOLs, and this is "the one". Infinite universe (no wrapping), amazing zoom/pan, amazing speed, amazing library of patterns, great user interface. I can't think of any improvements that don't involve telepathy.
Best Cellular Automata Program
I've been using Golly on my desktop since 2008. It is, without competition, the best program for discovering and simulating 2D cellular automat. The intuitive yet powerful Rule Table format for defining rules, combined with scripting, make it excellent for finding interesting rules, and the Python scripting combined with Hashlife make discovering and engineering patterns easier than in any other program I have used.
Data Not Collected
The developer does not collect any data from this app.
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- Andrew Trevorrow
- 11.7 MB
- Requires iPadOS 13.0 or later.
- Requires macOS 11.0 or later and a Mac with Apple M1 chip.
- Age Rating
- © 2020 The Golly Gang
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.