The free puzzle game Xye is based on Kye. Kye is a win32 game made by Colin Garbutt, released in 1992. It was a Charity Shareware - you had to donate
to Save the Children in order to register and get a lot of more levels.
Kye is one of my favorite games, because it combines strategy, reflexes and even speed.
Although perhaps its variety of gameplay is also its main drawback because many people like
only puzzles or only speed challenges but not both. When you do like the odd combination,
it can consume your time for years. I found Kye in a Spanish computer magazine's CD when I was
12 and since then putting random objects together to make new levels became a hobby. With time,
making an unofficial sequel with new objects and more level editing capabilities became an
objective that was fulfilled for the first time in 2006.
The premise was simple: Get all the diamonds in the level. The main appeal comes from the
objects and how they interact with each other.
You just have to get/eat all the diamonds in the level, but it is not as easy as it sounds, many dangers are present, traps made out of those arrow blocks, for example. Also beasts that try to eat you. There are plenty objects in the game:
Walls block the way of kye and other objects
You are able to push blocks.
Sliders are blocks marked with arrows that determine their direction,
they will move towards their direction until their path is blocked.
Rockies are the round version of the sliders. The difference is that
round corners of walls or round blocks don't stop them if there is free space at the other side.
Clockers / Aclockers are blocks that changed the direction of sliders and rockies.
Sticky blocks are blocks that have magnetism .- they pull other objects to themselves
and they are attracted to Kye.
Bouncers are mobile blocks that push other objects then change their direction to the opposite.
Timers are blocks that vanish after their timeout.
Doors would only let you go towards one direction,
and there is no way to know which is the direction unless you try the door manually. In reality, there
was a way to know, but the skin made it very hard to find out.
Auto sliders and auto rockies generated rockies or sliders constantly.
"Blackies" absorbed/killed other objects.
There were beasts but at least on the official levels the objective of the beasts
was to be part of a puzzle (trap them, or handle them in a smart way) or time limit
(Solve this puzzle fast, or else deal with the beasts)
rather than turning the game into an arcade kind of game like pacman.
Kye - The history
Since 1992 many things have happened. This section has information about other
versions of Kye. Some are official some are not.
This section will have descriptions of the versions, sometimes screenshots,
at the end of the document you will find links for more information and even be
able to download the Free versions. Although many versions of kye may have appeared after
the initial version of this page was released (around 2006). I have decided not to include information
about new versions that are not open source/free software.
Kye 1.0 - 2.0
The game described above is Kye 2.0.
The main difference between Kye 1.0 and Kye 2.0 is that Kye 2.0 brought us auto sliders/rockies, doors, monsters and blackies.
I have never played THE Christmas kye, I only got Kye JR. (see bellow) . Although
Christmas kye is mentioned multiple times around the Kye Jr. help files and the web.
Apparentally they are mostly the same but Kye JR. is freeware and has less levels OR other levels,
I don't really know. But it was Kye with a christmas touch. And it was an official version.
It seems that this game was present on a package called Christmas for windows, although I cannot confirm this
Christmas Kye JR.
I got a copy of this game which is freeware (It was called a christmas gift).
It is kye but it has different sprites and an old school Christmas background.
It comes with 12 really interesting levels. It does not come with the editor / option to
open other levels. The game was really just the original Kye with added sound and different
It seems that Kye Jr. was made and released for free in order to draw attention
into this project wich seemed to be a major upgrade to Kye. I'll quote the Kye JR. help file :
"Be prepared, we have placed some of the most intriguing mazes in Kye jr. - The Christmas Present.
If you are up to the task of solving those we have placed here, then you may want to check out Kye Deluxe.
Further information on Kye Deluxe is included in this help file".
And it was going to have some features:
Exciting New Features:
Kye Deluxe features over 200 of the most challenging puzzles ever designed for a computer game. Each one of these new levels takes full advantage of the many new features unique to Kye Deluxe, enhancing the challenge and game experience.
A New Level Editor
You can also create your own challenges for Kye Deluxe by creating your own unique levels. You can even exchange levels with friends to challenge them with your own devilish conundrums.
Exciting New Graphics
Kye Deluxe features all new 3D graphics. Kye Deluxe also fully supports all 16 and 256 color cards under Windows for stunning visual effects.
All characters in Kye Deluxe now feature enhanced animation. Creative animation brings character to each of the various monsters, traps, and creatures in Kye Deluxe enhancing gameplay.
Enhanced Sound Support
Kye Deluxe fully supports all sound cards under Windows. Each action is easily identifiable by its sound. Clues as to how to best solve a level can also be gleaned by carefully listening to the high-quality sound effects.
You can also customize the sounds in Kye Deluxe any way you wish. All of the sounds are user configurable and can be replaced with any standard Windows audio file you choose.
You can set the difficulty of Kye Deluxe to best challenge you. You can also challenge yourself as you work your way through to becoming a Kye Expert.
Kye Deluxe allows you to keep score and challenge your friends and co-workers for best score. A high-score table lets you keep track of the Kye Champion and Challengers.
Kye Deluxe incorporates several new adversaries and monster types each with their own unique character. Understanding how to complete the Kye maze may rely on best understanding your adversary.
Traps and Bonuses
Traps and Bonuses have been added to Kye Deluxe. You'll have to be careful to avoid the traps, but the bonuses may be very important if you are to successful navigate the maze.
New 3-D Interface
Kye Deluxe also features a much improved and enhanced 3D interface. With all of these new features, we also made them more fun to use... and to PLAY!
Kye Deluxe also features SO MUCH MORE...
Look for it soon from Kinesoft Development Corporation
When you look for more info in the web you find a message from Kinesoft : "Unfortunally, we left Kye Deluxe on hold".
DR. Floyd's Kye
A desktop toys package, Dr Floyd's Desktop toys for Win 3.11 included a new version of kye, it wasn't different from the original version unless you cound perhaps different levels and mainly a background image to combine with the other desktop toys.
Reviews about this package highlight this puzzle game as one of the main features.
It is the latest "official version". It was made by Sergey A. Stolbov with
a permission from Colin Garbutt.
Many objects from original Kye (Well just monsters and doors) are missing.
It seems Amazing Kye focuses on the more pure "Moving Block" puzzles of the original kye game.
I never got to register, I actually liked Amazing Kye but for a Bolivian teen it was not that
easy to register shareware software. The included levels in the shareware were all very interesting. The
vibe that this game gives you is that it is the most professional version of Kye yet. The skin
is modern and the color scheme seems to have been picked with care. It has sound and music, the music
seemed very compatible with the game concept.
The main drawback is the lack of a level editor.
A sourceforge.net project that predated Xye by large called Kye 3.0. Is actually
an unofficial, fan-made sequel. Its development was halted without notice. Also it did not come with any new level to show the new features (unless you count the first level).
I noticed 2 features:
- Teleporter blocks.
- The border of the game also works as a warp zone
(this was a good idea because all the orignal Kye levels had a border of walls,
thus now you can opt to not have a wall there but it becomes a teleport zone.
These features were later added to Xye for compatibility and also because they were interesting features.
That teleporters are also blocks allows for interesting puzzles.
There was a difference between Kye 3.0 and Kye 2.0 that could possibly break
some fan-made levels for the original Kye: Monsters Have to move to your square to eat you instead of
the way they act in the original Kye. This makes monsters a little less able to catch you. It also
makes it impossible block paths to Kye by using a monster attached to a sticky block. Twisters
were also able to move diagonally.
It did not have an editor but it was planned. It was possible to create
new levels using the old editor and you could add the new objects with a text editor.
A GPLed clone for Linux that uses python and GTK. It is a very accurate clone of the original Kye
which did not add new features. That can be seen as a good thing as it is a simpler game. Another
great advantage is that its author, Colin Phipps, used to spend considerable time making levels for
Kye and thus this clone comes with very good new levels that are completely free.
It eventually got ported to the Sugar interface, and thus Python Kye is featured in the OLPC
(one laptop per child) project. This means that this project lived up to the original Kye's
major objective as it started as a CharityWare in benefit of Save the children.
SKye by Jim Babcock, a clone for the Texas Instrument calculators. A very good clone
that featured 2 new objects: Pits that could become normal floor by moving an object to
them and bombs that would explode if hit by an arrow. These are new objects that were adopted
by Xye as the pit and the red surprise block. Jim Babcock also included very detailed
instructions about how to accurately reproduce many of the objects in original Kye, which
was later used to make Xye.
Each level comprises a different puzzle with multiple objects to find. In many ways, Xye will remind you of other puzzle games like sokoban or boulderdash, but it also includes some arcade elements. The difficulty is to find the objects, each of which has its own function, or in combination with others, so that you can open the doors and burst through a wall. After you have succeeded in internalizing the "logic" of Xye you'll soon forget about the dodgy graphics and it will test even the most agile mind.
Many ports to pocket PCs
I never got the chance to see them but yes, they exist. Amazing Kye also has its pocket pc version.
Information and links about Kye, from there you can get the original Kye, its full list of levels, and links to the pocket PC ports. Please donate to a children charity before downloading the registration levels.