The game is based on a fantasy game first presented in the pages of People's Computer Company in 1973. In Hunt the Wumpus you are placed in a cave built of many different rooms, all interconnected by tunnels. Your quest is to find and shoot the evil Wumpus that resides elsewhere in the cave without running into any pits or using up your limited supply of arrows.
The options are as follows:
- Specifies the number of magic arrows the adventurer gets. The default is five.
- Specifies the number of rooms in the cave which contain bats. The default is three.
- Play the hard version -- more pits, more bats, and a generally more dangerous cave.
- Specifies the number of rooms in the cave which contain bottomless pits. The default is three.
- Specifies the number of rooms in the cave. The default cave size is twenty-five rooms.
- Specifies the number of tunnels connecting each room in the cave to another room. Beware, too many tunnels in a small cave can easily cause it to collapse! The default cave room has three tunnels to other rooms.
While wandering through the cave you'll notice that, while there are tunnels everywhere, there are some mysterious quirks to the cave topology, including some tunnels that go from one room to another, but not necessarily back! Also, most pesky of all are the rooms that are home to large numbers of bats, which, upon being disturbed, will en masse grab you and move you to another portion of the cave (including those housing bottomless pits, sure death for unwary explorers).
Fortunately, you're not going into the cave without any weapons or tools, and in fact your biggest aids are your senses; you can often smell the rather odiferous Wumpus up to two rooms away, and you can always feel the drafts created by the occasional bottomless pit and hear the rustle of the bats in caves they might be sleeping within.
To kill the wumpus, you'll need to shoot it with one of your magic arrows. Fortunately, you don't have to be in the same room as the creature, and can instead shoot the arrow from as far as three or four rooms away!
When you shoot an arrow, you do so by typing in a list of rooms that you'd like it to travel to. If at any point in its travels it cannot find a tunnel to the room you specify from the room it's in, it will instead randomly fly down one of the tunnels, possibly, if you're real unlucky, even flying back into the room you're in and hitting you!