gomoku: Average on all counts

I am guilty of assuming gomoku, out of bsd-games, was a digital rendition of the classic go game, but that might be just because I saw the name, and saw the board, and saw two teams of black and white.


I wasn’t far off the mark since it’s apparently an adaptation of a cousin of go, entitled (believe it or not) gomoku. πŸ™„

This was a first for me with gomoku, although I have played some other counter-placing games in other cultures that followed similar rules. If you know connect-five or perhaps even Reversi, gomoku should be a piece of cake: In short, get five in a row in any direction, and you win the game.

Placement is via grid keys, and gomoku accepts only coordinates that match its array. You also have the option to quit by entering “quit” or “resign,” and to save your game with “save.”

gomoku allows for hotseat user-versus-user play, or perhaps more interestingly, computer-versus-computer games. I will say that running a computer-only game slowed down this machine sharply, so be prepared to throw some considerable processor power at gomoku’s solitary efforts. Unless you’re into weeks-long epic battles of gomoku algorithms, that is. πŸ™„

The man page for gomoku is dated 1994, but I suppose it’s possible that gomoku’s history — the program, that is — stretches back even further. In that case, I can only wonder how this software handled battling itself on ancient machines. 😐

As one note of something I didn’t check: gomoku supposedly has a background mode, where it will accept simple commands — “black K10” and so forth — and reply with countermoves. If you’re clever, it might be possible to rig gomoku as the silent partner to an external program, that displays a game board based on gomoku’s replies.

I give gomoku average marks in almost every category. It’s graphical, but not color. It’s speedy, but not after around 10 or 12 moves. It’s a simple game, but lacks some assistance getting started. All in all, there are more entertaining options for the command line, but I won’t throw out gomoku just yet. πŸ˜‰