Learn Snake Game with Python Tutorial with Curses

Learn to build a classic Snake game in Python using curses module. Step-by-step guide for creating a text-based game. Start coding your own fun project

20. Dec 2023
Learn Snake Game with Python Tutorial with Curses

Python is a flexible language that may be used to create a wide range of games. In this post, we'll look at how to use Python's curses module to make a straightforward yet entertaining text-based Snake game. The curses module is a great option for creating games in a terminal environment since it offers a terminal-independent method of handling keyboard inputs and creating text-based interfaces.

Getting Started

Make sure Python is installed on your computer before beginning the game's implementation. The curses module may be accessed without the need for further installs because it is part of the Python standard library.

Setting Up the Game Window

The first step is to initialize the curses window and set up the game environment. We create a window, hide the cursor, and define the screen dimensions and refresh rate.

import random
import curses

# Initialize the screen
s = curses.initscr()
curses.curs_set(0)  # Hide the cursor
sh, sw = s.getmaxyx()  # Get the screen dimensions
w = curses.newwin(sh, sw, 0, 0)  # Create a new window
w.keypad(1)  # Enable keypad input
w.timeout(100)  # Set the refresh rate


Snake and Food Initialization

Next, we set up the initial position of the snake and the food on the game screen.

# Initial snake position and food
snake_x = sw // 4
snake_y = sh // 2
snake = [
    [snake_y, snake_x],
    [snake_y, snake_x - 1],
    [snake_y, snake_x - 2]

food = [sh // 2, sw // 2]
w.addch(food[0], food[1], curses.ACS_PI)  # Display food symbol


Game Loop

The game logic revolves around a continuous loop where the snake moves based on user input or a default direction. We handle keyboard inputs to change the snake's direction.

while True:
    next_key = w.getch()
    key = key if next_key == -1 else next_key

    # Determine new head position based on the current direction
    # (code for updating snake's position based on user input)
    # (code for checking collisions and updating game state)
    # (code for displaying the snake and food)


Game Over Conditions

The game ends when the snake hits the wall or collides with itself. We check for these conditions within the game loop.

if (
    snake[0][0] in [0, sh] or
    snake[0][1] in [0, sw] or
    snake[0] in snake[1:]
    # Handle game over situation
    # Display a message, wait for a brief period, then break out of the loop


Eating Food and Growing the Snake

When the snake eats the food, its length increases, and a new food item spawns randomly on the screen.

if snake[0] == food:
    # Handle food consumption
    # Generate a new food location and display it on the screen
    # Move the snake forward by removing its tail and adding a new head
    # Display the updated snake on the screen


Cleaning Up

After the game loop ends, clean up the curses window to reset the terminal to its initial state.




Creating a Snake game with Python's curses module is an excellent approach to learn the fundamentals of game programming in a terminal environment. This text-based game serves as an example of how easy-to-use but powerful Python game development can be. Playing around with extra features like level upkeep, scorekeeping, or visual upgrades may make the game even more intricate and more enjoyable for players.

Please feel free to add your own features and improvements by modifying and expanding upon this basic implementation. Enjoy yourself when developing games with Python and happy coding!

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