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GenreCategory:ASCII games
Latest release2.8284271.702 "ship_it_anyway"  (Announcement)
Release dateMarch 1st, 2020
DevelopersLeonard Richardson and others[1][2]
Code licenseGPLv2[3]
robotfindskitten is a free game. This means that the source code is available to be studied, modified, and distributed. Most projects look for help with testing, documentation, graphics, etc., as well.

robotfindskitten is a so-called "Zen simulation," which was first written by Leonard Richardson for DOS. The game is a free computer game that utilizes ASCII artwork for its interface and objects. Inside this the user (playing the eponymous robot and represented by the number sign "#") must find a character called kitten (represented by a random character) who is placed on a varied field of other random characters.

The robot is able to identify them as either kitten, or a variety of odd, random, or whimsical items known as Non-Kitten Items (NKIs) by walking up to them. There is no way to lose the game, except for when using a patch that adds a 1 in 10 probability of the NKI killing robot.

The original version was the only entrant in a 1997 contest by the now-defunct webzine Nerth Pork in which users would create a game based on Jacob Bernedes' "robotfindskitten" concept.[4] The only submissions he ever got before were submissions where the kitten was slain by malevolent robots. Once the author rewrote the program for GNU/Linux in 1999 it acquired greater popularity and now has its own mailing list and a website: ''.[5]

The game has since them been ported to and implemented on over thirty platforms, such as POSIX, the Sega Dreamcast, Z-machine, Palm OS, TI 99/4A, Game Boy Advance, C64, Apple II, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Amiga, Spectrum, PSP, Rockbox, Nintendo DS, Mac Classic, Maemo, Android, Scratch, Atmel AVRand and many others.[6]

Graphical versions, including a OpenGL version featuring the "#" emblazoned on a otherwise featureless cube, exist as well.[7] Remakes of it are not uncommonly used as programming tutorials, such as for Gambas. Some have postulated that it is inspired by Robots or Epic Megames' ZZT.[8]


External links[edit]