|Hunt the Wumpus|
TI-99/4A boxart showing the visualization of the Wumpus and the graphics-based labyrinth
|Release||Original BASIC Version
Hunt the Wumpus is an early computer game, based on a simple hide and seek format featuring a mysterious monster (the Wumpus) that lurks deep inside a network of rooms. It was originally developed as a text-based game written in BASIC. Due to the source code availability the game has since been ported to various programming languages and platforms including graphical versions. It has been cited as an early example of a survival horror game.
Hunt the Wumpus was originally written by Gregory Yob in BASIC while attending the Dartmouth campus of the University of Massachusetts in 1975. Out of frustration with all the grid-based hunting games he had seen, such as Snark, Mugwump, and Hurkle, Yob decided to create a map-based game.Hunt the Wumpus was first mentioned in the People's Computer Company journal Vol. 2 No. 1 in September 1973, however the game listing was not published in this issue. The game listing was published in Creative Computing in its October 1975 issue. This article was later reprinted in the book The Best of Creative Computing, Volume 1. Yob later developed Wumpus 2 and Wumpus 3, which offered more hazards and other cave layouts.
By the release of Version 6 Unix (1975), the game had been ported to Unix C. An implementation of Hunt the Wumpus was typically included with MBASIC, Microsoft's BASIC interpreter for CP/M and one of the company's first products.Hunt the Wumpus was adapted as an early game for the Commodore PET entitled Twonky, which was distributed in the late 1970s with Cursor Magazine. A version of the game can still be found as part of the bsdgames package on modern BSD and Linux operating systems, where it is known as "wump."
Among the many computers it was ported to is the HP-41C calculator. The 1980 port of the game for the TI-99/4A differs quite a bit from the original while retaining the same concept. It is a graphical rather than text-based game, and uses a regular grid equivalent to a torus rather than an icosahedron. In this version, the Wumpus is depicted as a large red head with a pair of legs growing out of its sides.
The original text-based version of Hunt the Wumpus uses a command line text interface. A player of the game enters commands to move through the rooms or to shoot "crooked arrows" along a tunnel into one of the adjoining rooms. There are twenty rooms, each connecting to three others, arranged like the vertices of a dodecahedron or the faces of an icosahedron (which are identical in layout). Hazards include bottomless pits, super bats (which drop the player in a random location, a feature duplicated in later, commercially published adventure games, such as Zork I, Valley of the Minotaur, and Adventure), and the Wumpus itself. The Wumpus is described as having sucker feet (to escape the bottomless pits) and being too heavy for a super bat to lift. When the player has deduced from hints which chamber the Wumpus is in without entering the chamber, the player fires an arrow into the Wumpus's chamber to kill it. The player wins the game if the Wumpus is killed. However, firing the arrow into the wrong chamber startles the Wumpus, which may cause it to move to an adjacent room. The player loses if he or she is in the same room as the Wumpus (which then eats him or her) or a bottomless pit (which he or she then falls into).
Yob's original program had these features, while later programs differ here.
This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (March 2016)
A comparatively well-established subgenre of the horror game, survival horror aims to create an experience of entrapment, persecution, tension, suspense, and discomfort. Traditionally, the protagonist of such games is an ordinary individual trapped in some isolated, monster-infested location . . . Hunt the Wumpus, Sweet Home, and Alone in the Dark represent early examples of the genre.
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