Geeky Games: Trudy's Wumpus World

Last updated April 7, 2009

Resident evildoer and tormentor of geeks Trudy has stolen Nick's, Ki's, and Fooker's paychecks and has hidden them in a maze of dark cubicles, filled with treacherous black holes! Can you help the gang find their way through the vile labyrinth to grab the cash and escape to eat another day? Find out in Trudy's Wumpus World!

What is a "Wumpus World"?

The "Wumpus world" is a very simple game devised to help teach the concept of intelligent agents in artificial intelligence. In the classic Wumpus world, the "player" is an artificially intelligent computer program which must make some very important decisions. It must travel through a darkened cave, try to find the hidden gold, and escape back outside without falling into a bottomless pit or being devoured by the repulsive Wumpus, a huge hungry brute that eats any living thing it comes across. It's not as easy as it may sound because a good AI program must be very complex to remember where it is going and where it has been.

This time, however, the rules have changed somewhat. Trudy replaces the Wumpus, your paycheck is the gold, and you are the player. And to make things more interesting, you're not alone in the maze, as the computer controls another one of the GPF gang, also trying to beat you to the check and out the door!

How to Play

To play, you must first click on one of the three pictures below to pick your character. The computer will then pick another character for itself. Then you and the computer player will be placed into Trudy's Wumpus World, which consists of a darkened room filled with individual cubicles. You cannot see anything, so you will have to rely on your other senses to help you. You can travel from cubicle to cubicle by clicking the up, down, left, and right buttons that appear. The room is of limited size, so you may bump into a wall if you're not too careful.

There are number of dangers throughout the room to worry about. First, Trudy has used a black hole generator to create tiny black holes throughout the room. If you enter a cubicle with a back hole in it, you will be immediately sucked into it and be lost forever! Plus, Trudy herself, armed with really big mallet, roams the maze, ready to whack you over the head if she finds you. Fortunately, you do have a little warning. If a black hole is in a cubicle adjacent to the one you are currently in, you will feel a slight breeze. Similarly, if Trudy is nearby, you will smell her (sickeningly sweet) perfume. Note that this doesn't tell you which adjacent cubicle the black hole or Trudy is in. You will have to deduce this yourself.

Your goal is to find your paycheck, which Trudy has cleverly hidden somewhere within the maze of cubicles. You cannot tell which cubicle the paycheck is in until you're right on top of it (i.e. in the same cubicle). Once you find it, you will have to make it back to your starting position to win the game. Unfortunately for you, the computer's player is trying to do the same thing, and there's only one paycheck! (It must be a blank check, so you can write your own name in.)

Each computer player plays a little bit differently: Nick is conservative, cautious, and has an excellent memory (he takes copious notes). While this means he rarely fails, it does make him slow. Ki occasionally takes a chance or two for the sake of speed and she may on rare occasions get confused and forget where she's been. Fooker is fast, aggressive, reckless, and doesn't always pay attention (he's easily distracted by shiny objects). While he's the most likely to take a wrong turn, he's also the one who tends to find the paycheck fastest. All three know only what you know; that is, they can feel a breeze or smell the perfume, but that's all they know. They don't cheat. You might want to take notes as you play as you can be sure that they will too.

A note or two to remember: It is possible for Trudy to be in the same location as a black hole, since she conveniently has an anti-gravity belt. Thus, feeling a breeze and smelling Trudy's perfume at the same time doesn't necessarily indicate anything by itself. The paycheck will never be in the same cubicle as Trudy or a black hole, so there won't be any no-win scenarios where you can't reach the paycheck without dying. That said, it is entirely possible that there may be no safe route from your starting location to the paycheck (i.e. every route might be blocked by Trudy and various black holes), so there may be no way to win a given game! Statistically, you should be able to win most games, but be forewarned that you may not be able to win at all!

By default, the room consists of a grid of cubicles five wide and five deep. However, to make the game more challenging, try increasing the grid size using the drop-down list below.

Ready to try your luck in Trudy's Wumpus World? Good luck; you're going to need it!

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