CoreLife is a programming game inspired by Core War and published as shareware for the PC by Brent Adams in 1993. CoreLife is played in a 100×100 grid by programs written in a two-dimensional programming language. The aim of the game is to write a program to eliminate all opponents.

Specification

Programs are written in a two-dimensional assembly-like language. Each instruction has one or two arguments and direction flags to indicate the flow of control. Arguments include X and Y coordinates and an addressing mode. Labels are up to 8 characters terminated by a colon. The following commands are supported:

CommandDescription
MOVECopy the contents of the first argument to the second
ADDAdd the first argument to the second
SUBSubtract the first argument from the second
MULTMultiply the first argument by the second
DIVDivide the second argument by the first
MODCalculate the second argument modulo the first
ANDLogical AND the first argument with the second
ORLogically OR the first argument with the second
NOTInvert the first argument
RANDSet second argument to a random value bound by the first
DATACauses an error if executed
NOPNo operation, do nothing
JMPJump to the first argument
JMP<c>Jump to the first argument if condition <c> is true
SPLITStart a new thread at the first argument
PROTProtect the first argument from the next write attempt
RST<d>Reset the flow direction flag <d> in the first argument
SET<d>Set the flow direction flag <d> in the first argument

Programs are loaded into the 100×100 memory grid of a simulated two-dimensional parallel processing computer. A program's strength is calculated by (space occupied) / (number of processes) and any conflict for a memory location is resolved randomly based on the relative strength of the programs.

The complete specification is available in the CoreLife manual. There's also a short tutorial written by Jesse Chang — CoreLife Addressing Examples.

Software

CoreLife was published as shareware by Brent Adams in 1993, priced $19.95 (or $11.95 if you uploaded CoreLife to a BBS).

The following battle programs are available:

CoreLife: The Linear Thinkers Nightmare screenshot CoreLife: The Linear Thinkers Nightmare screenshot