Hunt the Wumpus

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Hunt the Wumpus cover.jpg
Hunt the Wumpus
DeveloperGregory Yob
PublisherPeople's Computer Company, Texas Instruments
SystemsIBM 370/145, TI-99/4A
ReleasedIBM 370/145: 1973
TI-99/4A: 1981
Added to
BASIC source: February 12, 2020

Hunt the Wumpus is a text-based video game that was originally written in BASIC by Gregory Yob on an IBM System/370 Model 145 at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

It was first published in the November 1973 issue of the People's Computer Company newsletter.


An adventurer wanders around a series of 20 rooms connected by tunnels. Each room has tunnels leading to three other rooms which formed a dodecahedron.

There is a wumpus in one of the rooms. It will eat the adventurer upon entering the room with the wumpus.

If the adventurer enters a room with bats, they will pick the adventurer up and fly to a random room.

There are also bottomless pits in two of the rooms which will lead to the death of the adventurer upon entering those rooms.

The adventurer has five crooked arrows that can be fired into any tunnel in an attempt to kill the wumpus. If the adventurer misses, the wumpus will become startled and move to an adjacent room. The adventurer will be eaten it moves into the room in which the adventurer resides.

The adventurer is victorious upon killing the wumpus.


Hunt the Wumpus is regarded as one of the first examples of a survival horror video game.

It is also considered one of the first examples of a text adventure game. It didn't contain the inventory (other than the 5 arrows for your bow) or puzzles for which most text adventures came to be known. However, it is a notable footnote in the history of adventures, as it laid the groundwork and inspired the adventures that would come after it. The bats that transported you to a random room would later appear in the game that kickstarted the adventure game genre, Colossal Cave Adventure.