Hunt the Wumpus
<games, history> (Or "Wumpus") /wuhm'p*s/ A famous fantasy computer game,
created by Gregory Yob in about 1973.
Hunt the Wumpus appeared in Creative Computing, Vol 1, No 5, Sep - Oct 1975,
where Yob says he had come up with the game two years previously, after seeing
the grid-based games Hurkle, Snark and Mugwump at People's Computing Company
(PCC). He later delivered Wumpus to PCC who published it in their newsletter.
ESR says he saw a version including termites running on the Dartmouth
Time-Sharing System in 1972-3.
Magnus Olsson, in his 1992-07-07 USENET article
<9207071854.AA21847@thep.lu.se>, posted the BASIC source code of what
he believed was pretty much the version that was published in 1973 in David
Ahl's "101 Basic Computer Games", by Digital Equipment Corporation.
The wumpus lived somewhere in a cave with the topology of an dodecahedron's
edge/vertex graph (later versions supported other topologies, including an
icosahedron and M"obius strip). The player started somewhere at random in the
cave with five "crooked arrows"; these could be shot through up to three
connected rooms, and would kill the wumpus on a hit (later versions introduced
the wounded wumpus, which got very angry). Unfortunately for players, the
movement necessary to map the maze was made hazardous not merely by the wumpus
(which would eat you if you stepped on him) but also by bottomless pits and
colonies of super bats that would pick you up and drop you at a random location
(later versions added "anaerobic termites" that ate arrows, bat migrations and
earthquakes that randomly changed pit locations).
This game appears to have been the first to use a non-random graph-structured
map (as opposed to a rectangular grid like the even older Star Trek games). In
this respect, as in the dungeon-like setting and its terse, amusing messages, it
prefigured ADVENT and Zork and was directly ancestral to both (Zork acknowledged
this heritage by including a super-bat colony).
There have been many ports including one distributed with SunOS, a freeware one
for the Macintosh and a C emulation by ESR.
[Does "101 Basic Computer Games" give any history?]
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