Welcome to Tile World

Tile World is an emulation of the game "Chip's Challenge" for the Atari Lynx, created by Chuck Sommerville, and later ported to MS Windows by Microsoft (among other ports).

Important Note

Tile World is an emulation of the "Chip's Challenge" game engines only. It does not come with the chips.dat file that contains the original level set. That file, which is copyrighted and cannot be freely distributed, was originally distributed with the MS version of "Chip's Challenge". If you have a copy of this version of the game, you can use that file to play the original games in Tile World. If you do not have a copy of this file, however, you can still play Tile World with the many freely available level files created by fans of the original game.

Installing Tile World under Windows

First of all, you'll want to store the files contained in this archive into its own separate directory. If you're using the self-extracting executable, you can create a new directory during the installation. Otherwise, you'll need to create a new directory beforehand -- something like c:\tworld -- and extract the files in there.

If you have a copy of the chips.dat data file, copy it to the data subdirectory. This will allow you to play the original levels under Tile World (for the MS ruleset and the Lynx ruleset both).

If you have other data files that you would like to try out in Tile World, copy those to the sets directory.

The shell commands to do the above would look something like:

cd c:\wherever\my\copy\of\chips\challenge\is\at
copy chips.dat c:\tworld\data
cd c:\my\collection\of\dat\files
copy *.dat c:\tworld\sets

That's all that needs to be done to set it up. Run the program as c:\tworld\tworld, or create a shortcut for it.

Installing Tile World under Linux

Before proceeding, ensure that you have SDL installed on your machine. (If you don't have SDL, you can get it by visiting http://www.libsdl.org/download.html. If you download a precompiled version -- i.e., an .rpm or .deb file -- note that you will need the development runtime, as opposed to the binary runtime.)

Installing Tile World involves the usual three-part incantation:


By default, the program is set up so that it will keep its shared files under /usr/local/share/tworld. If you would prefer the tworld directory to be somewhere besides /usr/local/share, use the --datadir option to change it when you run ./configure. Alternately, you can use the --with-sharedir=DIR option to explicitly specify a completely different path. (This value can also be changed at runtime, either via the TWORLDDIR environment variable or via the command line.)


This will build the tworld binary. There shouldn't be any serious warnings from the compiler.

make install

Running "make install" as root will do the following:

The sets directory is where you will generally store the .dat files that you want to use. However, if you want to make use of a configuration file with a particular data file, then you will need to store the data file in the data directory, and the configuration file goes into the sets directory instead. See the documentation for more information.

Level Sets

As mentioned above, the original "Chip's Challenge" level set does not come with Tile World, for reasons of copyright. If you do not already have a copy of Microsoft's Windows version of "Chip's Challenge", you might still be able to find a copy. Search the links listed below, under "Resources on the Internet", for helpful hints on finding the game online.

If and when you do, you can copy the chips.dat file from there into Tile World's data directory. You will then be able to play the levels of the original set (both in MS mode and in Lynx mode).

There are also many "user-created" level sets. These are sets of levels which have been invented by fans of the game. These sets are freely available for downloading. If you have a .dat file that contains a level set and you wish to use it, just copy it to Tile World's sets directory. The next time you start Tile World, the new .dat should appear in the list of available level sets.

At http://www.pillowpc2001.net/levels/ is a repository of available user-created level sets. I have not included any of these level sets in this distribution, as the authors continue to add new levels to their sets over time.

Actually, this distribution does contain one small level set. This is included so that even if you don't have the original level set, you can still get a brief glimpse of how the game works, and what some of the most basic challenges are. Also, the same set of levels can be played with both the MS and Lynx ruleset, so you can see how they differ.

There are three user-created level sets that deserve particular mention, namely the "Chip's Challenge Level Packs". These sets are curated collections of levels created by numerous authors, assembled by the fans who voted to determine which ones to include.

CCLP1.dat is intended to be a suitable replacement for the levels in the original game, for those who do not have access to chips.dat. The difficulty should match those of the original level set.

CCLP2.dat and CCLP3.dat are intended to be sequels, and are much harder than the original level set. Note also that CCLP2 was created specifically for the MS ruleset, whereas CCLP1 and CCLP3 can be played under either the MS or the Lynx ruleset.

The Complete Documentation

The full documentation for Tile World is included with the distribution, in the file tworld.html. There you will find information on how to play the game, adding new level sets, customizing Tile World, and more.

Creating New Level Sets

The most widely used program for creating new level sets is ChipEdit. It comes with excellent documentation, and you should have little trouble learning how to use it. Some other editors have recently been made available, such as CCEdit and Chip's Workshop.

Normally, ChipEdit creates levels for the MS ruleset. If you wish to make a level set for the Lynx ruleset, you have a few options:

Another alternative is to use a program like c4, a Perl program which allows you to design levels in a text source file and then compile the data file. c4 can be obtained from the Tile World download page.

Resources on the Internet

There is now quite a bit of information about "Chip's Challenge" available on the internet.

Mike L's Chip's Challenge hosts the Level Packs, software, and links to almost every custom level set available:


Anders Kaseorg's site contains the Chip's Challenge FAQ, as well as the AVI repository and a web interface to the newsgroup:


The CC Zone is a website that hosts a discussion forum, as well as links to programs and level sets:


The Chip's Challenge Wiki documents much of the shared jargon and available tools used by the community:


Finally, Tile World's home page is at:


Tile World 2

Tile World 2 is a fork of Tile World, created by Madhav Shanbhag. It uses the Qt library to improve the UI of the original program. You can find out more about it at:



Tile World is copyright (C) 2001-2015 by Brian Raiter. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License, included in this distribution in the file COPYING, for more details.


Bug reports are always appreciated, and can be sent to the author at breadbox<at>muppetlabs.com<dot>com. The list of known bugs is at http://www.muppetlabs.com/~breadbox/software/tworld/BUGS.html. Please check here before sending a bug report, to to make sure the bug has not already been documented.


Tile World was written by Brian Raiter.

The sound effects included in this distribution were created by Brian Raiter, with assistance from SoX. Brian Raiter has explictly placed these files in the public domain.

The tile images included in this distribution were created by Anders Kaseorg, with assistance from POV-Ray. Anders Kaseorg has explicitly placed these files in the public domain.

The introductory set of levels included in this distribution were created by Brian Raiter. Brian Raiter has explictly placed these levels in the public domain.

"Chip's Challenge" was designed by Chuck Sommerville, who is also the author of the original Lynx program.

Creating this program would have been flatly impossible without the help of several fans of "Chip's Challenge". The author would particularly like to acknowledge Anders Kaseorg for sharing the fruits of his investigations into the game logic of the MS version and for being an effective bug hunter, Chuck Sommerville for his pointers regarding the game logic of the Lynx version and his unfailing support of this project, and "CCExplore" for his in-depth investigations of esoteric game behavior.

Many other regulars of the annexcafe.chips.challenge newsgroup assisted with bug reports, suggestions, and all-around encouragement. Their help is gratefully acknowledged.

The anonymous author of the document describing the .dat file format, John K. Elion and his ChipEdit program, Don Gregory, the "Charter Chipsters", and the contributors to the CC AVI library all deserve mention as well -- this program would never have been written without the information they made freely available.

Brian Raiter
July 2015