Hunt the Wumpus -- Gregory Yob (c. 1972)


A simple game hide-and-seek game, set in a network of caves. Originally written by Gregory Yob in BASIC, and noticed on mainframes at least by 1972, it now appears in countless variations, all over the Internet. Building on several "grid" based games of the "Battleship" variety, Yob injected adversarial humor into the into the computer's comments, prefiguring the "voice" of the Infocom narrator.

In this game, you have three arrows, and are trapped in a maze that is a dodecahedron, with the nodes being rooms and the edges being the room connections. In any room, you are given hints as to phenomena that are going on in adjacent rooms (you can't tell from which one though) - breezes from bottomless pits, grunts from the (very hungry) wumpus, and so on. The wumpus can move, and the bottomless pits are frequently rearranged by earthquakes. Your goal is to hit the wumpus with one of your arrows by firing it down a passageway into an adjacent room. ( FAQ, 1.1)


Fig. Wumpus-1

Instructions? (y-n) y
Welcome to the game of Hunt the Wumpus.
The Wumpus typically lives in a cave of twenty rooms, with each room having three tunnels connecting it to other rooms in the cavern. Caves may vary, however, depending on options specified when starting the game.

The game has the following hazards for intrepid adventurers to wind their way through:

  Pits -- If you fall into one of the bottomless pits, you find yourself
  slung back out on the far side of the Earth and in very poor
  shape to continue your quest since you're dead.

  Bats -- As with any other cave, the Wumpus cave has bats in residence.
  These are a bit more potent, however, and if you stumble into
  one of their rooms they will rush up and carry you elsewhere in
  the cave.

  Wumpus -- If you happen to walk into the room the Wumpus is in you'll find
  that he has quite an appetite for young adventurous humans! Not

You are in room 13 of the cave, and have 5 arrows left.
*rustle* *rustle* (must be bats nearby)
There are tunnels to rooms 5, 11, and 13.
Move or shoot? (m-s)

In the following sample, the user tries to shoot an arrow into room 14 (which is not a legal move, since there is no tunnel to that room).

Fig. Wumpus-2

You are in room 13 of the cave, and have 5 arrows left.
There are tunnels to rooms 5, 11, and 13.
Move or shoot? (m-s) s14

*thunk* The arrow can't find a way from 13 to 14 and flys randomly into room 13!

*Thwack!* A sudden piercing feeling informs you that the ricochet of your wild arrow has resulted in it wedging in your side, causing extreme agony. The evil Wumpus, with its psychic powers, realizes this and immediately rushes to your side, not to help, alas, but to EAT YOU!


Care to play another game? (y-n)



Dennis G. Jerz
Jan 2000 -- first posted
28 May 2002 -- last modified