I am semi new to coding and have been following a tutorial on making a "text based RPG" on CodeClub.

Here is the full code:


# Replace RPG starter project with this code when new instructions are live

def showInstructions():
  #print a main menu and the commands
RPG Game

Get to the Garden with a key, a knife and a matchbox
But beware of the monsters!

  go [direction]
  get [item]

def showStatus():
  #print the player's current status
  print('You are in the ' + currentRoom)
  #print the current inventory
  print('Inventory : ' + str(inventory))
  #print an item if there is one
  if "item" in rooms[currentRoom]:
    print('You see a ' + rooms[currentRoom]['item'])

#an inventory, which is initially empty
inventory = []

#a dictionary linking a room to other rooms
rooms = {

            'Hall' : { 
                  'south' : 'Kitchen',
                  'east'  : 'Dining Room',
                  'item'  : 'key'

            'Kitchen' : {
                  'north' : 'Hall',
                  'east'  : 'Living Room',
                  'item'  : 'knife'
            'Dining Room' : {
                  'west'  : 'Hall',
                  'south' : 'Living Room',
                  'east'  : 'Garden',
                  'item'  : 'matchbox'
            'Living Room' : {
                  'north' : 'Dining Room',
                  'west'  : 'Kitchen',
                  'item'  : 'monster'
            'Garden' : {
                  'west'  : 'Dining Room'


# Displays a map of all the accesable rooms from the current room.
def room_map():

  # Makes sure that a variable defaults to an empty string...
  # ...if the current room doesnt link to another room in that direction.
    north = rooms[currentRoom]['north']
    north = ""
    south = rooms[currentRoom]['south']
    south = ""
    east = rooms[currentRoom]['east']
    east = ""
    west = rooms[currentRoom]['west']
    west = ""

  # Prints the map
  n = "N"
  s = "S"
  vert_line = "|"
  hzt_line = "-- W -- X -- E --"
  print(west + hzt_line.center(30 - len(west) * 2) + east)

#start the player in the Hall
currentRoom = 'Hall'


#loop forever
while True:

  #get the player's next 'move'
  #.split() breaks it up into an list array
  #eg typing 'go east' would give the list:
  move = ''
  while move == '':  
    move = input('>')

  move = move.lower().split()

  #if they type 'go' first
  if move[0] == 'go':
    #check that they are allowed wherever they want to go
    if move[1] in rooms[currentRoom]:
      #set the current room to the new room
      currentRoom = rooms[currentRoom][move[1]]
    #there is no door (link) to the new room
        print('You can\'t go that way!')

  #if they type 'get' first
  if move[0] == 'get' :
    #if the room contains an item, and the item is the one they want to get
    if "item" in rooms[currentRoom] and move[1] in rooms[currentRoom]['item']:
      #add the item to their inventory
      inventory += [move[1]]
      #display a helpful message
      print(move[1] + ' got!')
      #delete the item from the room
      del rooms[currentRoom]['item']
    #otherwise, if the item isn't there to get
      #tell them they can't get it
      print('Can\'t get ' + move[1] + '!')
  # player loses if they enter a room with a monster
  if 'item' in rooms[currentRoom] and 'monster' in rooms[currentRoom]['item']:
    print('A monster has got you....GAME OVER!')

  # player wins if they get to the garden with a key, a matchbox and a knife
  if currentRoom == 'Garden' and 'key' in inventory and 'matchbox' in inventory and 'knife' in inventory:
    print('You escaped the house... YOU WIN!')

I have tried to implement my own map/compass to display the players current location in relationship to the accesable rooms. My code works but is very repetitive and not very efficient.

I am interested in simplifying the room_map() function.

I will eventually go about creating a real map with rooms and walls that can be updated in terms of player location, enemies etc.

The map looks like this and updates when I go to another room: enter image description here


3 Answers 3


Since “Dining Room” (11 characters long) is west of the garden, you probably want

west.rjust(11) + hzt_line + east

for your room map. (You’ll have to increase your centering values to accommodate the additional characters.)

Since ['item'] is often in a room dictionary, the player can type “go item”, moving to the “item” room, crashing the game. You should validate the move directions. One way: instead of move directions stored as keys of the room, store them in a 'exits' dictionary in the room.

'Kitchen' : {
    'exits' : { 'north': 'Hall', 'east': 'Living Room'},

You can test for many similar conditions using all(...) and list comprehension.

if currentRoom == 'Garden'  and  all(item in inventory for item in ('key', 'matchbox', 'knife')):

But really you want inventory to be a set. Then you can test:

if currentRoom == 'Garden'  and  inventory >= {'key', 'matchbox', 'knife'}:
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you! The last line of code is much better than what I had \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 22:42

This is rarely where Python lives. Typically you should instead write

#!/usr/bin/env python3

Your rooms dict shouldn't really be a dict. Dicts are good for serialization and web APIs, but in Python they're often abused. You should use a namedtuple, if not an actual class.


# Displays a map of all the accesable rooms from the current room.
def room_map():

The convention for function documentation is to use the following format:

def room_map():
Displays a map of all the accessible rooms from the current room.

When you do this:

    north = rooms[currentRoom]['north']
    north = ""

There are several problems. First, your except clause is way, way too broad. You probably want to catch KeyError. However, the saner thing to do is:

north = rooms.get(currentRoom, {}).get('north', '')

You also have a bunch of code in global scope. This should be reduced - you should move that code into one or more functions.

'You can\'t go that way!'

should simply be

"You can't go that way!"
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you! I somehow missed these replies, but I am very thankful for the response! I might just dive into that project again with your insight :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 22:41

I'm going to assume that you borrowed code from this page on usingpython.com in order to make this because of the dictionary and the move = input("").lower().split(). No shame in that, it's a useful site. I use it too. Try instead of if item in room and if enemy in room, try if a enemy is in the room. So if a enemy is in the room, then it would display game over if a enemy is in the room, meaning you dont have to add extra items into a room

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to Code Review! This answer is a little in the brief side, which isn’t bad but could you expand it a little? Specifically you stated “Try instead of if item in room and if enemy in room, try if a enemy is in the room.” can you explain to the OP what advantages this would have? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 23:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ (The diction differs between Axel Sorensen's qustion and the site/code linked: pleas use the terms (monster) from the question.) \$\endgroup\$
    – greybeard
    Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 9:29

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