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Hunt the Wumpus

Hunt the Wumpus is a simple hide-and-seek computer game, featuring a mysterious monster (the Wumpus) that lurked deep inside a network of rooms. Using a command line text interface, the player would enter commands to move through the rooms, or shoot arrows along crooked paths through several adjoining rooms. There were twenty rooms, each connecting to three others, forming a dodecahedron. Hazards included bottomless pits, bats (which would drop the player in a random location) and the Wumpus itself. When the player had deduced from hints in the descriptions which chamber the Wumpus was in without entering it, he would fire a single arrow into the Wumpus' chamber to slay it. However, firing the arrow into the wrong chamber would make a loud enough noise to attract the Wumpus, which would devour the player. Thus, the player would only get one shot to kill the beast.

Hunt the Wumpus was the first game written for a microprocessor. Originally written by Gregory Yob in BASIC, and noticed on mainframes at least by 1972, it was first published in the magazine "People's Computer Company" in 1973, again in 1975 in "Creative Computing", and finally in 1980 in the book "Basic Computer Games". Building on several "grid" based games of the "Battleship" variety, Yob injected adversarial humor into the computer's comments, prefiguring the "voice" of the Infocom narrator. 1 The original shape of the Wumpus' cave was a dodecahedron.

Versions of Hunt the Wumpus are currently available all over the Internet, for almost all operating systems and machines, including GNU/Linux, Palm Pilot handheld computers, and mobile phones. The first bot on IRC was a multiplayer Hunt the Wumpus game, in which firing an arrow into a room with other players caused another player to be killed: "Foo is hit in the back with an arrow!" Unfortunately, the "Wumpus-o-Matic" player never made it off the drawing board. See rogue-o-matic.