Running Kye on Windows

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There are several options and permutations for running Kye on Windows

Classic Kye

The original, or "Classic" Kye (versions 1.2 and 2.0) was written for Windows v3.0, and I understand that they work on all subsequent versions of Windows up to and including Windows XP, although I have not tested all those combinations myself. Technically, these original Kye versions were 16-bit programs and although WinXP was a 32-bit OS it retained the capability of running 16-bit code. However, this capability was dropped with Windows Vista. If the Kye v2.0 source code were still available it would be possible to re-compile it for modern Windows, but it does seem to have been lost.

If you have a copy of Windows XP or earlier (they are cheap on ebay) you could run that Windows in a virtual machine which is itself running in a modern Windows or Linux. I would recommend VirtualBox (opens in new tab or window) for the virtual machine software; it is free, and useful for much more besides running Kye. Alternatively you could set up a dual-boot arrangement with modern Windows and a pre-Vista Windows version, but it is notoriously difficult to install two different Windows versions on the same PC.

It should also be possible to play Classic Kye in a browser via this website: Internet Archive - Kye. I did have much success with it but you might have better luck.


Kye v2.0 running in Windows XP running in VirtualBox running in Mepis Linux (3/4 scale from screenshot)

Python Kye

Python Kye is identical in gameplay to the original Kye, except that the default sprites have a different look (but remain clearly recognisable). With the "Modified" Python Kye graphics the sprites are almost identical to Classic, but with some detailed improvements.

Python Kye will run on any system with an appropriately installed Python language interpreter. These are generally free, and there are versions available for modern Windows. The following instructions work on Windows XP. User feedback on later Windows would be welcome!

Download (to the same place) Python and the Python GTK Library for Windows (don't worry if you do not understand what these are for) from these two direct links:-

Now go to the download directory in Windows Explorer and double click "python-2.7.5.msi" (which installs Python). You can accept the default destination and other defaults.

Then do the same with "pygtk-all-in-one-2.24.2.win32-py2.7.msi" to install the GTK Library. Again, you can accept the defaults.

Now get Python Kye itself, from this link:-

Having downloaded, extract this zip file to, I suggest, a directory you create called c:\games\pythonkye.

Now Python Kye is ready to run. In Windows Explorer, go to the directory you just created for it and run "". A game of Kye will open, and also a blank window which can be ignored and minimised (but not closed) - it seems to be an artifact of how Python on Windows works.

You can now play the game. The first level is trivial, but leads on to other tutorial levels. To play other level sets, go to File->Open, navigate to "Levels" in your Python Kye directory and choose one (but ignore "Template", being for use by the editor). Many more levels can be downloaded from the Levels page on this site.


This is a version of Kye which runs on modern Windows, and is downloadable from its website as linked from the "Versions" and "Links" pages on this site. Xye has a number of additions to the features of Classic Kye, although the original Kye levels can be played on it. Even so, there are some changes to the gameplay such that some original Kye levels will be easier, some harder, and some (a very few cases) impossible to solve.

Ultimate Kye

This is is a new open source version of Kye, still in development but can already be played. It comes with over 500 levels; I have not checked them all out but I understand that some are original Classic Kye levels and others are new. It currently (February 2021) uses Classic Kye graphics, but new graphics and a level editor are promised. A link to the website is given in the Links page.