Chapter 27. Games in Perl

Jon Orwant

This is a brief survey of the free Perl games and game utilities available on CPAN and elsewhere on the net. It’s hard to find games in Perl, in part because the module-oriented philosophy of Perl makes people more likely to distribute utilities than the standalone applications that players want. And people distributing standalone apps don’t typically advertise the language they wrote their program in, nor do they provide source code.

Most Perl games are simple affairs, either ASCII games or graphical games developed with Perl/Tk. ( has a collection of Perl/Tk tools, including some card games and Tetris variants not listed here.)

If you’re a budding game designer and would like to distribute your game as a standalone application on Windows so that players don’t need to install Perl or Perl/Tk, I recommend the Perl2Exe utility at

Strategy Games

A list of Perl utilities for strategy games follows:


There are several chess resources available for Perl programmers. On CPAN, there’s the Games::Chess module for representing chess positions and games, and Games::Chess::Referee, which uses Games::Chess to track piece movements—the start of a system that could one day be used to create chess bots. lists three chess programs: BeholderBoard, which lets others play chess on your server, KewlChess, a two-player real-time ...

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