Hunger Games simulation

Introduction

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 / All Programs / 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 (above them), along with health from 1-10 and wielded weapon (upon body). In games with multiple tributes of each gender, they are labeled #1, #2, and so on (below them).

Gameplay

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 (assuming they're within a certain distance from you). 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:

  1. You: The tribute you're playing as (District and gender).
  2. Health: Hit points. If this falls to zero you die.
  3. Food: Bodily energy. If this falls to zero you lose one health, and keep losing health every 100 turns.
  4. 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.
  5. Tributes: The number of people left in the game, followed by the total number of tributes the game started with. If this reaches one the game is over and a victor has been determined.
  6. 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:

  1. F1 or "?" - Help: This command redisplays the help text that appears at start of game.
  2. F2 or "R" - Restart: This command restarts a new game, erasing any game in progress. Use it after you die (or after you win).
  3. F3 or "." - 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.
  4. F4 or "i" - 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.
  5. F5 or "," - Get: Pick up an item you're standing over, placing it in your first available inventory slot.
  6. F6 or "d" - 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.
  7. F7 or "a" - 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 an item wears it, or takes it off if already worn. Using a first-aid kit or food item consumes it and gives you its benefit.
  8. F8 or "t" - 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 Bow.
  9. F9 or "c" - 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. If the tribute is wearing something such as armor, that will be indicated as well. 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.
  10. F10 or "g" - 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 14, 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 15 (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.

Advanced Gameplay

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 keys:

  1. Shift+F1 or "/" - Advanced Help: Similar to standard help, this displays a summary of these additional commands.
  2. Shift+F2 or Ctrl+Del - Change Arena: Restarts the game, but also allows you to select the arena size and type in the process. Arena size may range from 20 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 14 options, each represented with a letter: F=Forest, M=Mountains, D=Desert, P=Plains, S=Swamp, Z=Maze, Q=3rd Quarter Quell, 7=74th Hunger Games, and 0=One of the eight 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. If the arena type is blank, that will leave existing arena settings alone and only change the size. You can also select 2=2nd Quarter Quell with 48 tributes, U=Ultimate challenge with 234 tributes, 5=Retro version 2.5 arena, 4=Retro version 2.4 arena, and B="Battle Royale" simulation with everybody on an island with different random items.
  3. Shift+F3 or ">" - 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).
  4. Shift+F4 or "N" - 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!
  5. Shift+F5 or "x" - 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 landmine. Digging will also shatter stone items in your current space (rocks, bricks, and teeth). Also, if wielding a Blowtorch, this command will burn or melt non-stone items in your current space.
  6. Shift+F6 or "I" - 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.
  7. Shift+F7 or "f" - 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.
  8. Shift+F8 or "b" - 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. This command is only available if you're the audience or playing in an eternal day arena.
  9. Shift+F9 or "`" - 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.
  10. Shift+F10 or "Del" - 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.
  11. Shift+F11 or "Tab" or "Ctrl+Tab" - 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.
  12. Shift+F12 or "Shift+Del" - 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.
  13. "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 take damage. If dead or playing as the audience, you can also use "Q" and "Z" to fly up and down at a faster rate.
  14. "[" and "]" and "{" 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. The angle brackets tilt by a large amount, and the curly braces by a small amount.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. "C" - Summon tribute: Like the "c" chat command except asks a tribute to come to your location. This may redirect a tribute to travel to the spot at which you made the request. Don't expect non-allies to listen to you, and even allies may do other things first such as pick up desired items or finish combat.
  18. ":" - Tribute count: Sets the number of Districts and the number of tributes per District to have in the games. For example, the 50th Hunger Games (Second Quarter Quell) featured 4 tributes per District instead of 2. District 13 allows one to play with alternate realities, such as if the Capitol defeated the rebellion.
  19. 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 standard types offered in the Change Arena command. Landscape details are expressed in 12 different variables composing a string, each of which can be changed independently, for millions of combinations total.
  20. Apostrophe - Customize tribute: Set the name and hairstyle of the current tribute or all tributes. For the name you can enter a single string which names the current tribute (in which the empty string deletes a name and returns to the generic "District X Gender"), or a comma separated list which names all tributes starting from District 1 Female. You can enter "74" or "75" to name all tributes the names from the 74th or 75th Hunger Games, i.e. "74" is the same as "Glimmer,Marvel,Clove,Cato,..." etc. Hairstyles are a number from 0-9, or "?" to randomly select. Multiple tributes can be styled with a space separated list of numbers, or "? " with a trailing space to randomly change everybody. Female hairstyles: 0 = Pixie cut, 1 = Short straight, 2 = Short pigtails, 3 = Medium straight, 4 = Medium pigtails, 5 = Long straight, 6 = Long pigtails, 7 = Longest straight, 8 = Longest straight thin, 9 = Longest braids. Male hairstyles: 0 = Bald, 1 = Messy, 2 = Mohawk, 3 = Short straight, 4 = Short styled, 5 = Medium straight, 6 = Medium styled, 7 = Long straight, 8 = Long styled, 9 = Longest straight.
  21. "~" - 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 have.
  22. ";" - All settings: Set arena settings for future games. Each setting is specified by a letter A-Z followed by a number. You can see and edit a string of all 26 settings, or just enter a new partial or complete string which will override the specified settings. For example, "K10" will make future games start with a 10 turn countdown. Some of these settings can also be set by other commands, such as tribute count and random number seed. The only settings that can't be changed here are which tribute to play, names, and hairstyles. The Shift+F2 arena type command is implemented by expanding each high level selection into a sequence of low level setting changes. The 26 settings are as follows:

Hunger Games arena map

Arena

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 already containing large blocky 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 circle and slightly raised.

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 expert swimmers). Water is always at the lowest possible elevation, so it can sometimes be found by heading downhill.

Climbing: You can climb objects, making the arena 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 you'll fall if at the end of the turn you're not supported by anything. 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 any distance.

Hills: Hills refer to the base ground level of the arena, which may have varying elevations. Mountains are different, which (like trees and walls) are impassable blocks placed on top of the hills or ground. Whenever you move, you'll step up any amount needed to enter the new square. Similarly, moving to a lower square will result in stepping down any amount needed. You'll never potentially take falling damage unless you step off high square at an diagonal, and aren't supported by a hill face to "slide" down. You can job ranged attacks over hills to hit enemies, but attacks are stopped by impassable blocks such as mountains and walls.

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 things in one turn) which will leave a new Club in its place, or occasionally drop a tracker jacker nest. If you wield a Blowtorch, you can burn away trees and cactus plants (which will take several turns, unless you're from District 13 who are experts with metalwork and can burn away things in one turn) which will leave nothing in its place, and even destroy tracker jacker nests in them. Also if you wield a Blowtorch, you can melt a wall of the Cornucopia, which will leave a Spear in its place. If you wield a Pick, you can chip away mountain cliffs and brick walls by moving into them (which will take several turns, unless you're from District 2 who are skilled at quarrying and masonry) 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 Landmine. Dig deep enough and you'll hit water!

Footprints: In snowy arenas, tributes will leave footprints. (Tributes from District 10 who work with livestock are skilled trackers and can detect footprints in all landscape 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 standard arenas, 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. If the tributes are arranged in a complete circle, then the mutts start in random corners, and traverse to an adjacent corner before seeking out tributes.

Tracker Jackers: Tracker jackers are deadly wasp mutts who have nests at the top of certain trees and cactuses. If you bump into a tree with a nest, you'll get a message about angry buzzing. If you touch a tree within one square of its top, you'll get stung. If you chop down a tree containing a nest, the nest will fall to the ground and angry tracker jackers will sting any tribute closer than two squares. The nest will remain on the ground, and also sting anybody stupid enough to step on it. Tracker jackers do 1-3 damage, but also make you hallucinate 25-75 turns. Hallucination randomly changes the color palette, and also flips the screen horizontally, which may be disorienting. Hallucinating computer tributes act the same as they do at night, and can only notice things right next to them. Hallucination can be cured with a First-Aid Kit.

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. :) In many arenas the forcefield is covered by a barrier of foliage, rock, or a brick wall, but if that barrier is removed the forcefield behind it will be revealed. Some arenas have no edge, and wrap around as if the arena were on the surface of a torus. In such an arena you can travel in the same direction forever and have the scenery continually repeat itself, and in a smaller arenas you may even be able to see yourself in the distance!

Items

"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 trainer

Items consist of weapons (melee weapons, throwable weapons, missile launchers such as Bows, and ammo for them), equipment which may be worn, food and first-aid (which disappear when used), and special items like landmines. Items can be picked up, dropped, used, 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 use them, 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 20 weapons available (21 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 four different launchers: Slingshots launch Rocks, Blowguns launch Darts, Bows launch Arrows, and Guns shoot temporary energy Bullets. For example, a Club is a melee only weapon, however a Spear can be wielded in melee or thrown at somebody. Some weapons (i.e. the Grenade) are single use and consumed once thrown, while some launchers (i.e. the Gun) generate their own ammo. Also listed is the favored District for each weapon, in which 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, out in the wild, or received from sponsors. Extremely powerful weapons like Grenade and Gun are rare and can only be obtained from sponsors or at Feasts. 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.

Weapon Damage Melee Throw  Launch  District Nearby Cornucopia Wild Icon Weapon Reason
Fist 1 Yes - - 1 - - - Hand Everybody has one
Rock 1 - Yes Slingshot 2 Yes - Yes Small circle Available in woods
Dart 2 - Yes Blowgun 8 Yes Yes - Small line with tip Needed for blowgun
Arrow 5 - - Bow 12 Yes Yes - Feathered arrow Needed for bow
Grenade 10 - Yes - - - - - Ball with trigger Ultimate single use weapon
Club 2 Yes - - 5 - - Yes Crooked stick Available in woods
Blowtorch 2 Yes - - 13 - Yes - Canister nozzle Haymitch used one
Brick 2 Yes Yes - 2 Yes - - Cube Seen in movie on train
Pick 3 Yes - - 12 - Yes - Double pick-axe Needed to dig
Mutt Teeth 3 Yes - - 13 - - Yes Jaws Wolf mutts bite you
Knife 3 Yes Yes - 10 Yes - - Line with blade Clove used them
Mace 4 Yes - - 1 - Yes - Spiked square One year only maces available
Spear 4 Yes Yes - 6 - Yes - "/" shape line Marvel used one
Axe 4 Yes Yes - 7 - Yes - Axe shape Johanna used them
Sword 5 Yes - - 9 - Yes - Hilt with blade Cato used one
Trident 5 Yes Yes - 4 - Yes - Three prong fork Finnick used them
Net - Yes - - 4 - Yes - Grid of squares Finnick used them
Slingshot 2 - - Rock 11 Yes Yes - "Y" with line Rue made one
Blowgun 4 - - Dart 3 - Yes - Parallel lines Maysilee Donner used one
Bow 5 - - Arrow 12 - Yes - "D" shape Glimmer and Katniss used them
Gun 10 - - Bullet - - - - Pistol Ultimate multi-use weapon

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 survivable.

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 (unless their opponent is wearing armor). 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).

District Specialty Favored Weapon Favored Weapon Reason Color Color Reason
1 Luxury Fist, Mace Rich people carry mace spray ;) Magenta Tribute parade outfit
2 Masonry Rock (thrown), Brick District 2 works with masonry Gray Color of stone
3 Electronics Blowgun (launch dart) Geek weapon operated with breath White Color of graph paper
4 Fishing Trident, Net In honor of Finnick, who used them Blue Color of water
5 Power Club Electrically insulated weapon Yellow Electrical spark color
6 Transportation Spear Like a train rail Cyan Color of sky
7 Lumber Axe Used when chopping trees Green Color of trees
8 Textiles Dart (thrown) Like a sewing needle Purple Bright textile color
9 Grain Sword Like a harvesting scythe Orange Amber waves of grain
10 Livestock Knife Used when butchering livestock Brown Color of leather
11 Agriculture Slingshot (launch rock) In honor of Rue, who had one Red Color of apples
12 Coal Mining Pick, Bow (launch arrow) In honor of Katniss, who used bows Black Color of coal
13 Nuclear Blowtorch Used in construction Teal Drab business color
14 Muttations Mutt Teeth Wolf mutts bite you Olive Color of mangy fur

There exist items in the arena other than weapons. Some of these items appear as bluish squares on the ground, and are consumed when used. Other items are equipment which can be worn, which are yellow. Only one item can be worn at a time (assume that each item generates an electric field that protects you or whatever, and the fields of multiple items conflict with each other):

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 ground.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Nightvision Goggles: When worn, you can see perfectly in the dark. Computer tributes that can't see in the dark have their visibility radius reduced at night, although they'll still maintain combat with enemies. The game is smart enough to not generate Nightvision Goggles in the Cornucopia if the arena is eternally day.
  7. Helmet: When worn, whenever you take damage from a weapon, that damage is randomly reduced by 0-2 (1 average). If a computer tribute has both Nightvision Goggles and a Helmet in its inventory, notice how it will wear the goggles at sunset for vision, and switch to the Helmet at sunrise for protection.
  8. Body Armor: When worn, whenever you take damage from a weapon, that damage is randomly reduced by 0-4. Having all damage reduced by 2 on average is major protection, and as a result this powerful item can only be received very rarely as a sponsor gift or at Feasts.
  9. Parachute: When worn, the most distance you can fall down in a turn is one square. You can move horizontally while floating down, meaning parachutes can be used to cross obstacles like deep water if you climb a tall enough tree or mountain nearby. A parachute lands at your feet whenever you receive a sponsor gift. You can see parachutes land for other tributes, even in the distance, which can reveal their location.
  10. 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 yellow octagonal devices on the ground.
  11. Landmine (Active): If you step on a landmine, it will blow you up for 13-26 damage, which should always be 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 that damage will be reduced by one:

District Specialty Favored Weapon Bonus
1 Luxury Fist, Mace Receive sponsor gifts 33% more often
2 Masonry Rock (thrown), Brick Chip away mountain cliffs and brick walls in one turn
3 Electronics Blowgun (launch dart) You and allies can activate landmines in one turn
4 Fishing Trident, Net Pick up fish with any weapon, swim in deep water without floatation
5 Power Club Warned when moving into forcefields so avoid damage from them
6 Transportation Spear Directional compass and coordinates displayed on screen
7 Lumber Axe Chop down trees in one turn
8 Textiles Dart (thrown) +1 healing from First-Aid Kits, 50% chance of -1 weapon damage
9 Grain Sword 50% extra food from eating bread
10 Livestock Knife See footprints in all arenas
11 Agriculture Slingshot (launch rock) Avoid falling damage, 50% extra food from eating berries
12 Coal Mining Pick, Bow (launch arrow) Dig up items in one turn
13 Nuclear Blowtorch Nightvision
Capitol Muttations Mutt Teeth Nightvision, AI doesn't get hungry

Relationships and Alliances

"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:

  1. 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.
  2. Neutral: Your default relationship with a non-allied tribute who you haven't fought yet is Neutral. They may still initiate combat with you if there's nobody else available, but will prefer attacking enemies.
  3. Ally: An ally won't ever attack you. 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.
  4. 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's 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.
  5. Maximum Ally: There's a limit to how close someone can feel toward 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, it's useful to keep track of whether 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, 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.

Strategies and Tips

"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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 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 attack you.
  5. 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.
  6. Cornucopia: Guarding the Cornucopia becomes important if you or your alliance gain control of it. You can also destroy items you can't use with the "dig" command. 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 or may not be worth it.
  7. 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 - 1) 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.
  8. 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.)
  9. 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 need anything.
  10. Deaths: There are ten 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, be stung by tracker jackers, poke yourself on a cactus, or even be terminated by the Gamemakers. 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.
  11. 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! ;)

Achievements

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 mechanics:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 the forcefield, but this comes close.
  4. 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.
  5. Armageddon Victory: Win the Hunger Games (with the standard number of tributes) 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.
  6. Ultimate Victory: Win the Hunger Games with the "ultimate" setup. Press Shift+F2 and enter "U" for the arena type.
  7. Helen Keller: Win the Hunger Games while playing both "blind" and "deaf", i.e. with settings "B3N0".
  8. 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...
  9. 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. ;)
  10. Utter Annihilation: Take 30 or more damage at once. Not even landmines do that much damage...
  11. Natural Selection: Blow up a mutt with a landmine. Mutts aren't smart enough to avoid landmines, so you can lead them over one.
  12. Take That: Blow up another tribute with a landmine. Other tributes are usually smart enough to never intentionally step on landmines, so how might you get them upon one?
  13. Enlightenment: Levitate in the air with nothing next to you or holding you up (not even a parachute) while deciding on your next turn. Technically it's a minor bug in the game, but an amusing one.
  14. Ninja Skills: Before the gong sounds, step off your plate without getting blown up and make it into the Cornucopia.
  15. Mt. Everest: Reach Z coordinate 60 or above.
  16. Bee-ware: Kill another tribute by dropping a Tracker Jacker nest on them.
  17. Tough as Diamond: Have 14 or more hit points.
  18. Tough as Adamantium: Step on a landmine and survive the explosion.
  19. No Victor: Play in games that end with everybody dead, so there's no victor.
  20. Not a Piece: Have the game have no winner, through an action of yours that kills off everybody remaining at the same time.
  21. Mockingjay: Break out of the arena and start an uprising against the Capitol!

Future Games

The following features are not implemented, but are ideas for future versions:

  1. More items: For example, a camouflage cloak to decrease the range at which tributes can detect you.
  2. More actions: For example, apply Nightlock berries 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Tribute customization: Presently every tribute from a particular district has the same mechanical 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.
  5. More mutts: There could be additional muttation types, such as the monkeys from Catching Fire, or the candy pink birds that killed Maysilee Donner.
  6. Events: 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.

Links

There are a few other Hunger Games themed computer games out there, however none fully simulate all tributes in a 3D environment:

  1. 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.
  2. Hunger Games: Panem Run: An official 3rd person perspective mobile game in which your character runs through a few Districts of Panem. It's basically just a collect items and avoid obstacles game like many others, but with Hunger Games scenery.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. TrueHungerGames: 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.
  6. Scratch Hunger Games: You're actually a tribute in this one, fighting two others, with food and water resources. However it's extremely simple.
  7. Daedalus: The Hunger Games simulation in Daedalus is also available on Indie DB. See demo video and previous version demo video.

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This site produced by Walter D. Pullen (see Astrolog homepage), hosted on astrolog.org and Magitech, created using Microsoft FrontPage, page last updated November 1, 2014.