Tickle is a small and portable multiple arcade machine emulator that runs on Linux, OS X, Windows and the Raspberry Pi. It currently supports about 40 games from the 80's.

Version 0.95 (Jan 3, 2014)

Almost three years since the last update but time is what it is. Anyway, Linux is finally back... with a vengeance! Tickled has moved to the SDL in order to support Linux and the Raspberry Pi.

Since no new drivers have been added, at this time I'm providing only the source code for Tickle. This can be recompiled from a terminal window as follows:

cd tickle

Note: the Simple DirectMedia Library is required. The Raspberry Pi version can be cross-compiled by following these instructions. SDL can be also compiled directly on the Raspberry Pi, it just takes a little more time (about 40 minutes). Follow this guide to compile on Raspbian. The short version after unpacking the sources:

sudo apt-get install libudev-dev libasound2-dev libdbus-1-dev libraspberrypi0 libraspberrypi-bin libraspberrypi-dev
sudo ./configure --disable-video-x11 --disable-video-opengl
sudo make install

Download Tickle 0.95 beta 1 source for Linux. (Note this is hosted on the "old" site.)

Version 0.94 (Apr 16, 2011)

Yeah... Tickle is back! :-) This project has been frozen for many years until a few months ago I started doing some work on it again and one little piece at a time it has now grown enough to be released.

The most significant changes are:

As usual new drivers have been added, this set in particular has been choosen because it allowed me to test most of the emulation components:


Download Tickle 0.94 for Mac OS X 10.5 or later.

Download Tickle 0.94 for Windows XP.

Download Tickle 0.94 source files.

Go to the old Tickle page, containing previous versions.

How to install

On Mac OS X: open the Disk Image (.dmg) file and drag the Tickle icon to any folder. Requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later.

On Windows: unzip tickle.exe into any directory. Requires Windows XP.

Emulated games usually require a copy of the corresponding ROM files. Tickle uses the same naming convention of the MAME emulator. Required files must be placed in a properly named ZIP file in a subdirectory names "roms" (if sound samples are needed, they must be placed in a subdirectory named "samples").

If one or more of the required files are missing the program will display an error message but will also offer a choice to continue: this may be used to emulate errors or such, a feature that will be probably tested more in later releases.

Please remember that the ROM files are usually copyrighted material and are not included with this program. Furthermore, they must be never bundled or distributed together with this program in any format or media.

The following table contains a list of all the drivers supported in this release:



Tickle 0.94 is built from more than 35,000 lines of C++ code. It can emulate the following chips: a lot of custom hardware and discrete components!


Tickle is Copyright © 1997-2014 by Alessandro Scotti

Tickle 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 for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA

It is explicitly forbidden to bundle or distribute Tickle with other copyrighted material such as for example ROM files.


Tickle includes part of the zlib library, which is Copyright (c) 1995-2012 by Jean-loup Gailly and Mark Adler.

Since version 0.95 Tickle uses the Simple DirectMedia Library (SDL), a fantastic cross-platform library for getting access to the system audio, video and input resources.

Most of the information (but no code!) that was necessary to write the emulation drivers comes from studying MAME and I would like to thank all of the MAME developers and testers for providing the best emulator out there, and for always keeping it the best.