“Move or shoot?” This simple choice confronted a generation of early gamers who managed to get their hands on Hunt the Wumpus, a text-only BASIC game released in 1973 that was popular on Commodore PET computers.
It placed players in a dark, rarefied world consisting of 20 rooms haunted by bats and by a deadly but otherwise nondescript beast called the Wumpus. (The rooms were actually arranged as the vertices of a dodecahedron, though that wasn’t immediately obvious at the time.)
The player navigated by his or her senses: sniffing for the stench of the wumpus, feeling for the breeze emitted by dangerous pits, looking for the glitter of gold. If you could deduce where the wumpus was, you could kill it with an arrow. If you blundered into it, it ate you. Don’t laugh. It’s scarier than it sounds.