This page describes a computer video game simulation inspired by the Hunger
Games, as seen in the novel by Suzanne Collins and the
movie by Lionsgate Films. This simulation is a last person standing fight, where
you and 23 computer controlled opponents engage in a massive "battle
royal". It accurately depicts what it's like to play as a tribute in
the Hunger Games. There's a central "Cornucopia" building
filled with melee and ranged weapons along with food and other gear, surrounded
by an arena in which one can forage. You can also form alliances, and backstab
or be backstabbed by your allies. In the screenshot above you can see the
semicircle of 24 tributes on their platforms, the central golden Cornucopia,
gear in front of and within the Cornucopia, and the surrounding wilderness.
Download: The Hunger Games simulation is an applet that comes with Daedalus. (Daedalus is a Maze generation program, but
as this simulation shows it can be a driver for other games as well, similar to
programs like Minecraft.) Daedalus and its Hunger Games app is a 100% free
program for Windows, which can be directly installed from its setup program. Once installed, click "The Hunger
Games" icon in the "Start / Program Files / Daedalus / Scripts"
program group to play, or select the "File / Run Script / The Hunger
Games" menu command in Daedalus itself.
Turns: This is a turn based game (similar to a board game, or
"roguelike" computer games such as Nethack). After you decide what
move to make, the other tributes quickly do so in turn. Strategy and thinking
are important, and you shouldn't treat it like an video game where speed and
reflexes matter. Turns proceed in order from District 1 to District 12 (girl,
then boy). Hence there's a slight advantage to playing a lower District, since
going earlier can get you into (or away from) the Cornucopia faster.
Graphics: You play from a first person perspective, seeing through the
eyes of your tribute. (The screenshot above is a special bird's eye view from an
external observer.) First person means you should keep an eye out in all
directions, because you can be ambushed from behind. Graphics are simple, with
everything as block tokens (again like a board game) and icons on the ground
indicating the various types of gear. Looking at a tribute, you can see their
District number and gender (top row), along with health from 1-10 and wielded
weapon (bottom row).
At the top of the screen is the event list, showing actions that have
happened around you since your last turn. You can see who's doing what, such as
how much damage tributes are doing to each other, no matter how far away they
are in the arena. This text can yield clues as to where tributes are, and how
strong they are. Lines in yellow are significant, such as a tribute dying or you
receiving a sponsor gift. Lines in red are critical, such as you taking damage.
At the bottom of the screen is the status line, which contains the following:
- You: The tribute you're playing as (District and gender).
- Health: Hit points. If this falls to zero you die.
- Food: Bodily energy. If this falls to zero you lose one health, and
keep losing health every 100 turns.
- Kills: Bragging rights. Number of tributes or mutts you've dealt the
killing blow to so far. More kills means a higher chance of sponsor gifts.
- Tributes: The number of people left in the game. If this reaches one
the game is over and a victor has been determined.
- Turn: Number of moves the game has lasted so far.
The arrow keys are the main commands for movement. The up arrow key moves you
forward one square, while down arrow backs you up one square. The left and right
arrows rotate in place, and are free actions which don't take up time or end
your turn. Shift+left or right arrow sidesteps or strafes to the square to your
left or right, leaving you facing the same direction. Moving into a square
occupied by a tribute does a melee attack against them with your wielded weapon.
After you die (or after you win) you effectively become a detached observer, and
can move around freely to see other parts of the arena. Beyond movement, there
are 12 main commands:
- F1 - Help: This command redisplays the help text that appears at
start of game.
- F2 - Restart: This command restarts a new game, erasing any game in
progress. Use it after you die (or after you win).
- F3 - Pause: Do nothing, and let the other tributes take their next
turn. This command can be repeatedly used after you die, if you want to let the
remaining players keep going, and see who the final victor is.
- F4 - Inventory: Display your inventory. You have 10 inventory slots,
labeled "A" through "J", which start out empty. Checking
your inventory is a free action which doesn't end your turn.
- F5 - Get: Pick up an item you're standing over, placing it in your
first available inventory slot.
- F6 - Drop: Drop an item from your inventory. Your inventory is shown,
after which you select a slot from "A" to "J" to indicate
the item to drop.
- F7 - Use: Apply or (un)wield an item. Your inventory is shown, after
which you select a slot from "A" to "J" to indicate the item
to use. Using a weapon wields it, or unwields the weapon (becoming barehanded)
if already wielded. Using a first-aid kit or food item consumes it and gives you
- F8 - Throw: Throw a weapon in the direction you're facing. Your
inventory is shown, after which you select a slot from "A" to
"J" to indicate the item to throw. You can throw one weapon while
wielding another. To shoot ammunition, wield the launcher and then throw the
ammo. For example, you can only "throw" an arrow if you're wielding a
- F9 - Chat: Communicate with another tribute in the direction you're
facing. Depending on how they feel about you, they'll say something that can
range from affectionate to insulting. This is a good way to check on whether
other tributes are allies or enemies. It can also be used to ensure you're
properly lined up with another tribute before making a ranged attack. Chatting
is a free action which doesn't end your turn.
- F10 - Give: Give an item to another tribute, who's next to you in the
direction you're facing. Your inventory is shown, after which you select a slot
from "A" to "J" to indicate the item to give to them.
- F11 - Rotation: Toggle the rotation rate when using the left and
right arrow keys. Normally you rotate 15 degrees each keypress, however you can
also rotate 45 degrees at a time if you prefer.
- F12 - Select: Specify the tribute to play as for future games. You
can select your District and gender, and allow either or both to be random. For
example, you can be any one of the 24 tributes, a random boy from any District,
or one of the two tributes from District 12. Special features: If you select to
play as District 13, you will instead get to play as a mutt monster, which is
similar to being a tribute except you start away from the Cornucopia. If you
select District 14 (either gender) you will instead be a member of the audience,
which means an external observer from the beginning, and can watch all 24
tributes controlled by the computer battle it out.
The above commands are all you need to play most games. However, the Hunger
Games simulation features a set of advanced commands that allow additional
options and information. Each command is selected by pressing the following
- Shift+F1 - Advanced Help: Similar to standard help, this displays a
summary of these additional commands.
- Shift+F2 - Change Arena: Restarts the game, but also allows you to
select the arena size and type in the process. Arena size may range from 50 to
4096 squares across. The default size is 100 squares, and selecting 0 will give
a random size from 50 to 250. Assuming each square is 5x5 feet, then the maximum
4096x4096 square arena is 3.87 miles across and covers over 15 square miles!
Arena type may be one of six options, each represented with a letter: F=Forest,
M=Mountains, D=Desert, P=Plains, S=Swamp, Z=Maze, and 0=One of the six chosen
randomly. For the ultimate Hunger Games experience, set both values to 0, and
like real tributes you have no idea what arena you'll be entering.
- Shift+F3 - Pause Until: Do nothing, and let the other tributes take
one or more extra turns. Keep waiting until something interesting happens, which
means wait until the next event is displayed at the top of the screen. This can
be useful (especially when playing as the audience) to skip over longer periods
where tributes are roaming around the arena searching for each other. Earlier in
the game things happen every turn, making this no different from normal pause.
Note there's danger to using this command while playing as a tribute, because
you won't stop pausing if someone approaches you (although once a tribute
attacks you, that will cause an event message which will stop your wait).
- Shift+F4 - Autoplay: Toggle autoplay mode, which means to wait and
let other tributes continue until the game ends. This is meant to be used while
playing as the audience. Doing this as an active player is likely to be fatal
quickly, since another tribute will soon find and kill you while you're standing
still not fighting back. However if you're fast enough, you can move and even
fight, effectively making this a challenging real time mode instead of a turn
based version of the Hunger Games!
- Shift+F5 - Dig: Attempt to dig in the space you're standing over. You
need to be wielding a Pick, and it will likely take several turns of digging
(unless you're from District 12 who are skilled miners). Digging will uncover
rocks, unless you're next to a launch platform in which case you'll dig up a
- Shift+F6 - Sort Inventory: Same as the standard inventory command,
however the items within it will have been sorted, with multiple copies of items
grouped together. This makes it easier to see exactly what you have. It can even
have positive game effect, since it's a quick way to get an item out of your
last inventory slot so you can receive sponsor gifts.
- Shift+F7 - Fire Launcher: Automatically fire a wielded launcher in
the direction you're facing. Does nothing if you're not wielding a launcher, or
your launcher has no ammo left. This is an easier way to shoot a launcher than
selecting the Throw command, looking through your inventory for an ammo item
corresponding to the launcher, and then selecting it.
- Shift+F8 - Background: Toggle the arena between day and night. The
game is much harder to play at night, when you can barely see three squares in
front of you. Other tributes behave no differently, so this offers a way to make
the game more challenging for the skilled player.
- Shift+F9 - Timeline: Display a timeline of all tribute deaths so far.
Listed is each fallen tribute or mutt, who or what killed them, and finally
their placing and the game turn the death took place. The information in this
report can be reproduced by paying attention to the cannon fire events. The
timeline can provide useful information, since it helps determine who's alive
and who's being aggressive, so the skilled player seeking a challenge should
avoid using it.
- Shift+F10 - Status Report: Display a status report of all tributes.
Listed is each tribute and mutt, their current health, food, and the number of
kills they've made. The information in this report can be mostly reproduced by
paying attention to events indicating tributes taking damage or eating. This
report provides useful information, since it clearly shows who's alive, injured,
and starving, so the skilled player seeking a challenge should avoid using it.
- Shift+F11 - Display Map: Display an aerial map of the arena,
highlighting all landscape features (such as the Cornucopia and trees), and the
positions of all living tributes and items on the ground. The map provides a
huge advantage, in that it enables you to easily find or avoid other tributes,
and even detect useful items. Therefore the skilled player should avoid using
it, since it provides information a real tribute wouldn't have. There are
actually two different maps: Shift+F11 and the Tab hotkey bring up a topographic
map, in which everything is indicated in different colors, with unique bright
colors for tributes. The Ctrl+Tab hotkey brings up a picture map, which is like
looking down on the arena from above, including ground coloring. It may be hard
to find tributes on the picture map, if their color is the same as objects.
- Shift+F12 - Change Tribute: Select a different tribute to play as in
the current game. Your location, inventory, and alliances immediately switch to
that of the selected tribute. If you get bored with your character, die and want
to continue playing as someone else, or want to check out the inventory of the
tribute who killed you, this option allows you to do it. You can also switch to
mutts or the audience.
- "q" and "z" - Climb: Climbs up and down. You must
be standing next to something solid, such as a tree, cliff, or wall. You won't
be allowed to climb high enough so you fall, although you can move laterally at
a height away from any support, which will cause you to fall and potentially
- "[" and "]" - Pitch View: Tilts the screen view
up and down. If you're standing at the base of a tree and want to see a target
high up in it, or are up in a tree and want to see targets at its base, these
commands are useful.
- Spacebar - Reset View: This minor command resets your viewing pitch
so you're looking straight ahead. It also clears text from the top of the
screen, and redisplays the item you're standing over if any.
- Ctrl+a - Turn Around: This command simply turns you around 180
degrees. It's a quick way to check behind you for tributes sneaking up on you,
without having to press the left or right arrow keys a bunch of times.
- "~" - Faction Report: Display a grid of factions or tribute
alliances. You can see exactly how each tribute feels about every other tribute.
Much of the information in this report can be reproduced by paying attention to
combat events. This report provides a major advantage, in that it can help you
determine who to attack, avoid, or ally with. Therefore the skilled player
should avoid using it, since it provides information a real tribute wouldn't
- Alt+r - Random Seed: Set the random number seed and landscape details
for future games. Any non-zero seed will always result in the exact same arena
being created, and the exact same tribute actions as long as you take the same
actions yourself. Landscape details allow one to customize the arena beyond the
six types in the Change Arena command. Landscape details are expressed in 10
different variables composing a string, each of which can be changed
independently, for over 50 million combinations total. Each of the six standard
arena types internally maps to a particular string selecting from the below
- T - Tree Density: The first two digits determine the tree density in
percentage of squares covered. They range from 00 to 99, with 00 meaning 100%.
- F - Forest: The next digit controls how forest is placed over the
arena. 0 = No trees anywhere, 1 = Clumps of trees in the specified tree density
covering about half of the arena, 2 = Solid trees covering the whole arena in
the tree density.
- P - Plains: Controls the placement of meadows or open spaces. 0 = No
open spaces or meadows anywhere in the arena, 1 = Open spaces present in the
forest, 2 = Twice the number of open spaces in the forest, 3 = Plains covering
the entire arena with no trees anywhere, 4 = Like #3 except there's no
Cornucopia horn and the items in it are lying in the open with no walls present.
- Z - Maze: Controls how Maze walls are placed in the arena. 0 = No
Maze present, 1 = A wide Maze with 3 squares between walls, 2 = A medium Maze
with 2 squares between walls, 3 = A narrow Maze with 1 square between walls.
- M - Mountains: Controls how mountains are placed in the arena. 0 = No
mountains present, 1 = Mountains present, 2 = Twice the number of mountains
present, 3 = Canyon system covers the whole arena with about half of all squares
being rock, 4 = Like #3 with extra mountains placed afterward, 5 = Like #3 with
twice the extra mountains placed afterward.
- V - River: Controls how rivers are placed in the arena. 0 = No rivers
present, 1 = Rivers present, 2 = Swamp system covers the whole arena with about
half of all squares being water, 4 = Like #3 with rivers placed on top of swamp.
Note that internally, arenas are generated in the order presented here, meaning
mountains may clobber Maze walls, and rivers may cut through both.
- L - Lake: Controls how lakes are placed in the arena. 0 = No lakes
present, 1 = Lakes present, 2 = Twice the number of lakes present, 3 = Entire
arena is one big ocean.
- C - Center Area: Controls the size of the central area around the
Cornucopia. 0 = Wide central area leaving a gap behind the launch platforms and
the start of trees or other landscape, 1 = Small central area that allows
landscape to approach within one square behind the launch platforms, 2 = Smaller
central area that allows landscape to pass the platforms by one square, 3 = Tiny
central area that only covers the Cornucopia horn itself. Beware of combining #2
or #3 with mountains or ocean, which may start tributes embedded in rock or
stranded at sea.
- I - Items: Controls the availability and placement of items near the
Cornucopia. 0 = Default items with both goods and weapons in the Cornucopia and
nearby (like in the 74th Hunger Games), 1 = Weapons only in and around the
Cornucopia (like in the 75th Hunger Games), 2 = Mace weapons only in and around
the Cornucopia (like in that one year mentioned in the book), 3 through 5 = The
same as #0 through #2 except with all items piled inside the Cornucopia horn and
nothing between it and the launch platforms.
- A - Atmosphere: The last digit controls the atmosphere of the arena.
0 = Temperate grass ground, 1 = Cold snowy ground, 2 = Hot desert ground, 3 =
The arena is randomly generated each game, with random tribute placements and
gear in and around the Cornucopia. The default arena is forest and measures
100x100 squares. (You can change the arena type and size with Shift+F2.) You can
visit any square except those covered by objects (trees, mountains, brick walls,
the walls of the Cornucopia, and other tributes). Each tribute starts on their
"platform" which is a square like any other, except marked with a gray
Movement: Because the arena is a square grid, you can only move (or
throw items) in one of the eight compass directions. It follows that with a
ranged weapon, you need to line up with an enemy in order to target them. It
also means you can stay out of alignment to avoid enemies throwing things at
you. Moving diagonally is treated the same as orthogonal movement. That means
some tributes start out fewer moves away from the Cornucopia than others. If you
start out on a 45 degree diagonal from the Cornucopia you can reach it first. On
the other hand, near the endpoints and directly in front of the Cornucopia are
the worst places to start if you want to reach it quickly.
Water: Many arenas feature lakes and rivers. Water appears as bluish
squares, and may contain fish. Squares adjacent to land are shallow water, and
can be waded through. Squares surrounded by water in all eight directions are
deep water, and appear as darker blue squares. You need to be holding a
"flotation device" (i.e. wielding a Club) in order to swim through
deep water, otherwise you take 1 damage (unless you're from District 4 who are
Climbing: You can climb objects, making the arena somewhat 3D. You
can't stand on top of another object, or ever be directly above or below another
tribute, however you can cling to the sides of objects if something solid is
adjacent to you in one of the four compass directions. For example, you can
climb trees, mountain cliffs, and the sides of brick walls and the Cornucopia.
You can move while up in the air (such as leap from tree to tree) however if you
end turn not supported by anything, you'll fall. Falling more than one square
results in taking one damage per additional height (unless you land in water, or
are from District 11 who are expert climbers and immune to falling damage). If
another tribute is more than one square away from you vertically, you can't
attack each other with melee weapons, although ranged weapons can go up or down
Landscaping: The arena isn't static, and can be modified in several
ways. If you wield an Axe, you can chop down trees and cactus plants by moving
into them (which will take several turns, unless you're from District 7 who are
expert lumberjacks can chop down trees in one turn) which will leave a new Club
in its place. If you wield a Pick, you can chip away mountain cliffs by moving
into them (which will take several turns, unless you're from District 2 who are
skilled at quarrying) which will create a new Brick. Also if you wield a Pick,
you can use the dig command to dig in the ground (which will take several turns,
unless you're from District 12 who are skilled at mining). Digging will uncover
new Rocks, unless you're next to a launch platform in which case you'll dig up a
Tracking: In snowy arenas, tributes will leave footprints. (Tributes
from District 10 who work with livestock are skilled trackers and can detect
footprints in all arena types.) Tributes and mutts leave different footprints.
Footprints can be used a track other tributes and mutts, which is useful in
larger arenas. If you drop an object, it will erase any footprints in that
square, which can be repeatedly done while walking to cover your tracks.
Mutts: In addition to the other tributes, there are muttation monsters
called "mutts" roaming the arena. Mutts are like other tributes, in
that they will attack you. They do high damage with their teeth, and are
aggressive and won't ever flee, even if injured. They aren't tributes, so don't
need to be killed in order to become victor. Computer controlled mutts don't
need to eat, so will never starve, and they won't ever pick up items. They also
can't swim or climb trees, which is one way to escape them. There are two mutts
in the arena, which start in the northwest and northeast corners behind the
Cornucopia. They will stay near the north edge for the first 100 turns or so,
and then go on the prowl for tributes to maul.
Forcefields: The edge of the arena is an invisible forcefield. You can
tell when you reach it because the square grid and landscape features end. If
you walk into a forcefield, you take 1-5 damage (except for tributes from
District 5, who work with power generation and are immune to forcefields).
Thrown weapons or launched missiles bounce off the forcefield. That means you
can kill yourself with your own weapon if you're not careful, or can bounce
weapons off the forcefield to kill enemies around corners that you don't have
line of sight to. :)
"My advice is, don't ignore the survival skills. Everybody wants to
grab a sword... Exposure can kill as easily as a knife." - Atala, head
Items consist of weapons (melee weapons, throwable weapons, missile launchers
such as Bows, and ammo for them), along with food and first-aid (which disappear
when used), and special items like landmines. Items can be picked up, dropped,
consumed, and given to other tributes. You can carry up to 10 items at once.
Items appear as colored tokens on the ground, each with a unique and obvious
icon. Only one item can exist in a square. If one item is dropped on top of
another, it will instead slide over to the nearest unoccupied space. That means
a tribute with a full inventory when killed may seem to have exploded into a
shower of items. :)
Weapons can be wielded, after which you automatically use them to damage
tributes in melee when you move into them. Be careful you don't accidentally
move into an ally, which will be treated as an attack! Some weapons can also be
selected with the "throw" command, after which they'll leave your
inventory, fly to the tribute in the direction you're facing, and damage them.
Damage is from 0 to the weapon's damage rating, e.g. a weapon that does up to 3
damage has a 25% chance each of doing 0 damage (a miss), 1, 2, or 3 damage.
Thrown weapons (regardless or whether they hit or miss) land at the target's
feet, so beware because they may pick it up and throw it back. (Consider how
Katniss got the free knife Clove threw at her.) Finally some weapons are
launchers which fire ammo. To do this, wield the launcher and then throw the
ammo with the "throw" command. For example, throwing a Dart by itself
will only do up to 2 damage, however blowing a Dart through a Blowgun (throw the
Dart while wielding a Blowgun) will do up to 4 damage. A melee attack when
you're wielding a launcher will be treated the same as an unarmed punch.
The table below summarizes the 17 weapons available (18 counting attacking
barehanded with your fist). Listed is the weapon, and the maximum damage it
does. Also listed is whether the weapon can be wielded in melee, whether the
weapon can be thrown, and whether the weapon is a launcher of ammo or can be
used as ammo fired by a launcher. There are three different launchers:
Slingshots launch Rocks, Blowguns launch Darts, and Bows launch Arrows. For
example, a Club is a melee only weapon, however a Spear can be wielded in melee
or thrown at somebody. Also listed is the favored district for each weapon,
where tributes from that District have a bonus when using it. Next listed are
three places where the weapon might be able to be acquired. Weapons can be
inside the Cornucopia itself, in the nearby area between the starting platforms
and the Cornucopia, or out in the wild. Finally is listed the icon used for the
weapon when seen on the ground or wielded, and the reason the weapon is included
in the game in the first place.
||Everybody has one
||Available in woods
||Small line with tip
||Needed for blowgun
||Needed for bow
||Available in woods
||Seen in movie on train
||Needed to dig
||Wolf mutts bite you
||Line with blade
||Clove used them
||One year only maces available
||"/" shape line
||Marvel used one
||Johanna used them
||Hilt with blade
||Cato used one
||Three prong fork
||Finnick used them
||Grid of squares
||Finnick used them
||"Y" with line
||Rue made one
||Maysilee Donner used one
||Glimmer and Katniss used them
Nets are a special weapon unlike all others. When you attack someone with a
Net, there's a 50% chance of entangling them in it (and a 100% chance for
District 4 tributes using one). If entangled, the Net will be removed from the
attacker's inventory, and the target tribute will get covered with a grid shaped
net pattern (or your entire screen will be covered if somebody entangles you).
Entangled tributes can't move or attack. Instead their melee attacks are
directed against the Net. Nets have 20 effective hitpoints, and all attacks do
maximum damage against it. That means it will take someone at least four turns
to cut their way out with a good weapon, and up to 20 turns if they're
barehanded. Getting entangled usually means a quick death, although they are
Each District has a "favored weapon". (Career districts and
District 12 have two favored weapons.) When a tribute uses their favored weapon,
damage is increased by 1. For example, a District 12 tribute using a Bow,
instead of the normal 0-5 damage, will instead do 1-6 damage. That means they
never miss, and always do at least one damage. The favored weapon for each
District is in the table below. Listed is the District, their favored weapon(s),
and the reason for having that favored weapon (which can be used to help
remember it). Districts 4, 9, and 12 have a slight advantage, since they have a
favored weapon that deals up to 5 damage normally, making them the only
Districts able to deal 6 damage in a single attack. Finally each District also
has its own color, which the tributes are displayed in. This can allow
identifying them from a distance if you can't see their markings. The reason for
each color is included too (which be used used to help remember them).
||Favored Weapon Reason
||Rich people carry mace spray ;)
||Tribute parade outfit
||Rock (thrown), Brick
||District 2 works with masonry
||Color of stone
||Blowgun (launch dart)
||Geek weapon operated with breath
||Color of graph paper
||In honor of Finnick, who used them
||Color of water
||Electrically insulated weapon
||Electrical spark color
||Like a train rail
||Color of sky
||Used when chopping trees
||Color of trees
||Like a sewing needle
||Bright textile color
||Like a harvesting scythe
||Amber waves of grain
||Used when butchering livestock
||Color of leather
||Slingshot (launch rock)
||In honor of Rue, who had one
||Color of apples
||Pick, Bow (launch arrow)
||In honor of Katniss, who used bows
||Color of coal
||Wolf mutts bite you
||Color of mangy fur
There exist items in the arena other than weapons. Most of these items appear
as bluish squares on the ground, and are consumed when used:
- First Aid-Kit: When applied, you are healed for
3 damage (or 4 if from District 8 who are experts with bandages and other
textiles). First-Aid Kits can only be found inside the Cornucopia. They are also
the most frequently received item from sponsors, since most tributes get injured
to some degree. First-Aid Kits appear as light blue crosses on the ground.
- Bread: When eaten, a loaf of bread gives you
100 turns worth of food (or 150 turns if from District 9 who are experts with
grains). Bread can be found nearby in the starting area, and inside the
Cornucopia (but not out in the wild). If you're at full health, food is the most
frequently received item from sponsors. Bread appears as a round roll with a
slice missing on the ground.
- Berries: Berries give you 50 turns worth of
food (or 75 turns if from District 11 who are experts at agriculture). Berries
can be found nearby in the starting area (but not within the Cornucopia itself),
and out in the wild. Berries appear as clusters of four tiny circles on the
- Nightlock Berries: As expected, they are deadly
poisonous. They deal 9-15 damage to whoever eats them, so will most likely kill
even a character at full health (although it is technically possible to
survive). Nightlock berries are identified as such, so no computer player will
ever pick them up (and they'll usually get angry if you give them Nightlock,
thinking you're trying to poison them). Nightlock makes it harder to forage in
the woods, since it's not obvious if that dark blue icon is Nightlock or
standard edible berries. However, note that if you look closely, edible berries
appear in clusters of four, while Nightlock appears in clusters of five, so it's
possible to distinguish between them from a distance.
- Fish: Fish give you 50 turns worth of food.
Fish can only be caught out in the wild, in shallow or deep water squares. To
pick up a fish from a water square, you need to be wielding a Spear, Trident, or
Net (or be from District 4 who can fish with anything).
- Landmine (Disabled): You can dig up the
pedestal landmines around the launch platforms. If you dig with a Pick in one of
the eight squares surrounding a launch platform, you'll dig up a landmine. Using
a landmine will attempt to activate it. It may take many turns to figure out how
to activate a landmine (unless you're from District 3 who are experts with
technology, or allied to someone from District 3 that you can ask, who can
always activate landmines in one turn). Landmines appear as light gray octagonal
devices on the ground.
- Landmine (Active): If you step on a landmine,
it will blow you up for 13-26 damage, which is always enough to kill any
character. The explosion will also destroy everything in their inventory. Active
landmines appear the same as disabled landmines, except they're orange and have
an "X" through their middle.
In addition to favored weapon(s), each District also has at least one
additional bonus that their tributes have in the arena. For example, tributes
from District 8 who are experts with textiles can heal themselves for 4 damage
instead of 3 with First-Aid Kit bandages. They can also use their clothing as
bandages, which means whenever they take damage from a weapon, there's a 50%
chance the damage will be reduced by one:
||Receive sponsor gifts 33% more often
||Rock (thrown), Brick
||Chip away mountain cliffs in one turn
||Blowgun (launch dart)
||You and allies can activate landmines in one turn
||Pick up fish with any weapon, swim in deep water
||Warned when moving into forcefields so avoid damage
||Directional compass displayed on screen
||Chop down trees in one turn
||+1 healing from First-Aid Kits, 50% chance of -1
||50% extra food from eating bread
||See footprints in all arenas
||Slingshot (launch rock)
||Avoid falling damage, 50% extra food from eating
||Pick, Bow (launch arrow)
||Dig up items in one turn
"You really want to know how to stay alive? You get people to like
you." - Haymitch Abernathy
Every tribute tracks how it feels about every other tribute. Feelings aren't
necessary mutual, e.g. tribute A may consider B to be a trusted ally, but B may
be getting ready to stab A in the back. :) Feelings are in five categories:
- Enemy: If you attack someone (even an Ally)
their status is automatically set to Enemy. There are different degrees of
enemy, where the more damage you do to someone, the more they hate you.
Similarly, if a tribute attacks you, they also consider you to be an enemy.
- Neutral: Your default relationship with a
non-allied tribute who you haven't fought yet is Neutral. They may still attack
you if there's nobody else available, but will prefer attacking enemies.
- Ally: An ally won't attack you, ever. Career
Districts (1, 2, and 4) all start out as allies with each other. There is an
advantage to being a Career (since you start in the large Career alliance) but
it's a bigger achievement to win from an outlying District. If you attack
someone who's in an alliance (or someone who's in an alliance attacks you), not
only does that tribute get angry at you, but so do all their allies.
- Close Ally: A close ally is just a stronger
ally. Every tribute starts with one Close Ally, the partner from their District.
When the Careers turn on each other at the end of the Games, they'll demote
normal Allies to Neutral before turning on their District partner. If you
backstab someone who an ally, third parties are usually neutral, however their
close allies get angry at you. For example, if you are the District 1 Boy and
attack the District 2 Boy, he and the District 2 Girl become your enemies, but
the District 4 tributes stay allied to both sides.
- Maximum Ally: There's a limit to how close
someone can feel about you. Once someone starts saying they want YOU to win, you
effectively have a Katniss and Peeta falling in love in the arena situation. :)
In such a scenario, they may even be willing to kill themselves so you can win.
Every tribute always has at least one other person in the arena they're
willing to fight. Upon each death, every tribute ensures they have at least one
target, and they decide to "unfriend" the ally they're least close to
if everybody left is an ally. For example, if only the Careers are left, they
start turning on each other. It follows that if you're a Career, ensure there's
at least one non-Career still being hunted, because as soon as they're killed,
every Career picks someone to backstab, which may be you.
You can give items to other tributes. The receiving tribute will like you
more based on the value of the item. Give a valuable enough item, or give enough
items, and you can upgrade their feeling category. For example, a tribute moving
from Neutral to Ally will suggest you two form an alliance, and will start
treating you as an ally. Become an ally with one tribute, and you also become
allied with all their allies (at least those that don't already consider you
Enemy). For example, becoming an ally with the District 12 Girl also makes you
an ally with the District 12 Boy. Becoming an Ally with one Career will make you
good with the whole Career alliance (except for those you're fighting already)
which can make the bloodbath more survivable. Be careful if giving items to
Neutral or Enemy tributes, because if they take a swing at you on their turn,
that will undo your efforts since it will reset their feeling of you to Enemy.
Giving items to allies can also be useful, because then they'll be more likely
to turn on others at the end.
"23 of you will be dead. One of you will be alive. Who that is
depends on how well you pay attention... particularly to what I'm about to
say." - Atala, head trainer
In a turn-based game with many options like the Hunger Games simulation, careful
thinking is rewarded more than video game reflexes. Below are a few points to
keep in mind:
- Health: Unlike most video games, health doesn't regenerate
automatically in this Hunger Games simulation. Like real life, injury doesn't
heal easily. With 10 maximum health, and the best weapons doing up to 5 damage,
you can be killed in just two good hits. The only way to raise hit points is
through first-aid kits, which are inside the Cornucopia or received from
sponsors. (Getting stabbed for 5 damage while picking up an item that heals just
3 health isn't worth it.) It follows that it's important to keep health as high
as possible, and not engage in unnecessary combat.
- Range: Because combat is deadly, ranged attacks can be useful. If you
can kill people from a distance, you can avoid getting damaged in melee. It's no
coincidence Katniss (using a bow), Clove (using knives), and Marvel (when he
threw spears), were effective in their Games. Throwing weapons like spears is
easy, however other tributes can then pick them up and use them against you.
Launchers like the bow/blowgun/slingshot require you to collect ammunition for
them, but fired ammo can't be effectively used against you unless they have a
launcher too. A bow is the strongest launcher (doing up to 5 damage), so if you
can get one and collect enough arrows, you can potentially be like Katniss.
- Initiative: Because combat is turn based, it can be advantageous to
get first strike in any engagement. Pausing for a turn, so an enemy moves next
to you, will let you attack them first before they respond in kind. Similarly,
when you and an enemy both have ranged weapons, you can let them move into your
line of fire so you can shoot at them first.
- Behavior: Understand and take advantage of computer behavior.
Computer tributes treat every item and other tribute within range like an
attractive or repulsive magnet, and move in the resulting direction. Computer
tributes are drawn to allies, and also to tributes weaker than they are
(especially unarmed tributes). They can only see things within line of sight,
meaning you can often escape being chased by ducking behind a tree or the
Cornucopia. That means alliance members tend to cluster together and hunt as a
pack. Like you, they can only see what weapon another tribute is wielding. Even
if you have no ammo, wielding a launcher may make a tribute less likely to
- Startup: The beginning of any game is critical. Common starting
strategies are: (a) Run toward the Cornucopia, to get the best gear before it's
gone. All computer controlled Careers do this, along with most other tributes.
(b) Run away from the Cornucopia into the wilderness, to reduce your chance of
getting killed early. A small percentage of computer controlled tributes do
this. (c) Combine the two in some manner, i.e. pick up whatever's safely
obtainable, but don't go all the way into the Cornucopia itself, and then clear
out. Katniss did this when grabbing the orange backpack before escaping.
- Cornucopia: Guarding the Cornucopia becomes important if you or your
alliance gain control of it. If you go off into the wilderness to hunt, other
tributes may sneak in while you're away and steal whatever's leftover.
Similarly, if you flee the Cornucopia at start of game, you can potentially wait
nearby until people leave and then scavenge it yourself. Landmines can be used
to guard the Cornucopia for you, although it takes significant effort to dig up
and reset them, so may not be worth it.
- Starvation: Food can be a weapon in some games. It's not called the
"Hunger" Games for nothing! Whenever your food reaches zero, you lose
one health and your food counter is reset to 100. That means without supplies
the longest a tribute can survive is (Food + (Health x 100)) turns. If you have
lots of food and health, and don't want to risk fighting other tributes, you can
evade everyone until they starve to death. If you're patient it's possible to
win with a non-violent Foxface style victory.
- Fishing: Fish can be an important source of food. You can only pick
up i.e. catch a Fish if you're wielding a Spear, Trident, or Net. Similarly, you
can only swim into deep water squares without taking damage if you're wielding a
Stick. That means most tributes have to be careful to retrieve a Fish from deep
water: First wield a Stick, swim out to the square with the Fish, then switch to
a Spear or related weapon, pick up the fish (you can tread water without your
floatation device, just not move to other deep water squares), and finally
switch back to the Stick in order to swim back to shore. (Tributes from District
4 who are experts in fishing can avoid all these requirements.)
- Sponsors: Sponsor gifts are rare, however anybody can receive one,
with at least a 1 in 1000 chance each turn (or a 1 in 750 chance for tributes
from District 1 who are richer) if they meet the requirements. Every kill a
tribute makes increases the chance of getting a gift proportionally. For
example, one kill doubles your chances to 2 in 1000, and two kills give you a 3
in 1000 chance. Sponsors never give items before turn 100 (so as to not
interrupt the bloodbath) or after turn 2000 (to keep the Games from lasting
forever). You never receive an item if your last inventory slot is occupied,
because they assume you're doing well with so much stuff and therefore don't
- Deaths: There are nine different ways to die in the Hunger Games
simulation. Most deaths are from combat with other tributes or mutts. However
you can also starve to death, poison yourself (like Foxface), electrocute
yourself on the surrounding forcefield, blow yourself up with a landmine, fall
from a great height, drown in deep water, or even poke yourself on a cactus. Be
aware that thrown weapons bounce off the forcefield, meaning you can also kill
yourself like the District 1 Girl did in the 2nd Quarter Quell.
- Differences: This is not the 74th Hunger Games that Katniss
and Peeta participated in, but should be thought of as a random year. Therefore
don't be surprised if tributes behave differently from game to game. For
example, the District 11 Girl is not Rue, and may grab a sword and start
stabbing everybody in sight! ;)
Are you the victor every time you play? If the Hunger Games start seeming too
easy, there are things you can do in the arena to make it more interesting or
challenging. For example, try doing the following achievements. Some require
special arena types, effort to set things up, or detailed knowledge of game
- Ace Victory: Win the Hunger Games, with more health and more food
than when you started. In other words, you need to have 11 or more health, and
501 or more food, at the point you're declared victor.
- Foxface Victory: Win the Hunger Games, without ever attacking
anything. You need to let other tributes kill each other, and let the last ones
starve to death or be taken out by mutts, to achieve this.
- Haymitch Victory: Win the Hunger Games, by bouncing a weapon off a
forcefield to make the last kill. Technically Haymitch won by a tribute killing
themselves by unknowingly bouncing a weapon off a forcefield, but this is the
closest we can come.
- Rainbow Victory: Win the Hunger Games, achieving 7 or more kills in
the process. In a standard game, it's challenging to make this many kills when
so many tributes are simultaneously fighting each other.
- Armageddon Victory: Win the Hunger Games, achieving 25 kills in the
process. With 24 tributes and 2 mutts, this means you need to kill all 23 other
tributes and both mutts, which is actually possible with the right setup.
- True Love: Convince a tribute to commit suicide by intentionally
eating Nightlock berries. Normally tributes get angry if you give them Nightlock,
however if the tribute wants you to win...
- Enobaria: Kill a mutt with a set of Mutt Teeth. If you kill a mutt,
you can take its teeth as a trophy, which is a weapon like any other. ;)
- Utter Annihilation: Take 30 or more damage at once. Not even
landmines do that much damage...
- Sky High: Blow yourself up with a landmine. If nothing else, it's fun
to see the animation. ;)
- Natural Selection: Blow up a mutt with a landmine. Mutts aren't smart
enough to avoid landmines, so you can lead them over one.
- Take That: Blow up another tribute with a landmine. Other tributes
are smart enough to never intentionally step on landmines, so how might you get
them upon one?
- Enlightenment: Levitate in the air with nothing next to you or
holding you up, while you're deciding on your next turn. Technically it's a
minor bug in the game, but an amusing one.
- Mockingjay: Spark a rebellion outside the arena. As the tributes in
Catching Fire demonstrate, some causes are worth dying for...
The following features are not implemented, but are ideas for future
- More items: For example, body armor or a shield to reduce damage
taken in combat, a camouflage cloak to decrease the range at which tributes can
detect you, and night vision goggles to make it easier to see.
- More actions: For example, apply Nightlock to weapons (or at least
blowgun darts) to do more damage with them, like Maysilee Donner did. Also more
combat options, such as a bull rush attack that can push tributes back a square
(such as into a landmine, forcefield, deep water, or out of a tree).
- More resources: Presently only food is tracked. There could be water
(clean or dirty) to drink too. Track energy, making it necessary to rest or
sleep at times.
- Nighttime: Presently the sun is always in the same spot in the sky.
It could continually cycle between day and night every few hundred turns,
reducing visibility accordingly.
- Tribute customization: Presently every tribute from a particular
district is the same, with the same strengths and weaknesses. You could design
your tribute ahead of time by allocating points to different areas, such as
strength, agility, and plant identification, then see how they do in the arena.
- More mutts: There could be additional muttation types, such as
Tracker Jacker nests in trees.
- Feasts: Periodic times when special items are spawned (probably at
the Cornucopia) to draw tributes back together to fight. In addition, there
could be events to force a grand finale ending to the Games such as releasing
numerous mutts, or flooding the arena with water or lava.
There are a few other Hunger Games themed computer games out there, however
none fully simulate all tributes in a 3D environment:
- The Hunger Games
Adventures: An official Facebook or mobile game in which you follow Katniss
and other characters through the storyline of the books. It's basically just an
energy expenditure and resource gathering game like many others, but with a
Hunger Games theme.
- Trial by
Fire: An official "choose your own adventure" type game with a
Hunger Games theme, where you take choices to follow a short storyline within
the arena. The one correct path through it is (spoiler alert): 1) Run away from
the Cornucopia, 2) Set up camp, 3) Head to the forest, 4) Eat and make a plan,
5) Befriend her, 6) Evade her charge.
- Hunger Games The Game:
It looks sophisticated, with quality cartoon graphics and sound, and
health/food/water resources. However it's actually just an April Fool's parody,
where you always die to a thrown knife after the first few seconds.
- Scratch Hunger Games:
You're actually a tribute in this one, fighting two others, with food and water
resources. However it's extremely simple.
Featuring offense/defense/stealth/speed stat customization,
health/energy/hunger/thirst resources, and graphics in a 12x12 sector arena. See
also the earlier HungerGamesLite and QuarterQuellLite Flash versions.
The Hunger Games simulation in Daedalus is also available on Indie DB. See demo video.
This site produced by Walter D.
Pullen (see Astrolog homepage), hosted on astrolog.org and Magitech, created using Microsoft FrontPage, page last updated
November 28, 2013.