nSnake The classic snake game with textual interface


Classic snake game on the terminal; made with C++ and ncurses.

menu menu menu

nsnake is a clone of the classic snake game that we all used to play on our cellphones. You play this game on the terminal, with textual interface.

Here's some features:

  • Customizable gameplay, appearance and key bindings
  • GUI-like interface with nice animations
  • Levels - create your own easily;
  • Lots of possible game modes; teleport, scroll map, random walls, etc. Scores are saved for each setting.


The keybindings are completely customizable on the in-game menus. The default ones are:

Keys Actions
Arrow Keys Moves the snake
q Quits the game at any time
p Pauses/Unpauses the game
h Show help during game

All user settings are located at ~/.local/share/nsnake.


nSnake looks out for level files on ~/.local/share/nsnake/levels. By default it installs stock levels on /usr/share/games/nsnake/levels, so make sure to copy them before playing.

Levels have a .nsnake extension and are simple text files. The file format is very easy to edit; check out the wiki for a quick guide.


nSnake only depends on ncurses; it's used to show cute things on the terminal.

Make sure you have the package ncurses dev. Note that it's not the default that comes with your distro.

Distro Installation command
Ubuntu/Debian apt-get install libncurses5-dev
Fedora yum install ncurses-devel
Arch Linux comes by default

If you know the means to install on other distros, please tell me.


Briefly, the following shell commands should configure, build and install this package on the default directories:

$ make
$ [sudo] make install

If you want to test it before installing, do:

$ make run

Then, it's simple:

$ man nsnake
$ nsnake

Check file INSTALL.md for more info.


Hello there, I'm Alexandre Dantas (kure)!

Thanks for downloading and playing this game, I'm very glad you had interest on this humble project.

You can send me comments, bugs, ideas or anything else by email. And if you have time, please visit my blog!

I'd appreciate any commentary - even if it's just "Hello, I play your game!".


Some interesting links if you're interested on nsnake:

Also, it's all over the web!


Firstly, I'd like to thank you for playing this game. Hope you liked it!

The game was mainly done by me, but a lot of people helped me in many ways. There's a list of them on the AUTHORS file, and you can see people's contributions to the code here.

Throughout the nsnake development, I found very interesting sources of ideas; small games made in C, textual games with ncurses, and stuff like that.

I raise my hat to:

  • nInvaders: A space invaders-like game using ncurses.

    • homepage: http://ninvaders.sourceforge.net
    • comments: "Thanks for the inspiration. If I haven't installed this in first place, I'd never have the idea for nsnake"
  • pacman4console: A console-based pacman game.

  • vadorz: An addicting ncurses space-invaders game.

    • homepage: http://code.google.com/p/vadorz/
    • comments: "This package is awesome, 'cause it uses ncurses AND pdcurses to be able to play in Windows and GNU/Linux"
  • snake4: Fruit-eating snake game

  • ASCII Generator: A generator of awesome ASCII text arts

  • Text ASCII Art Generator: Another awesome ASCII text generator


nsnake - The classic snake game with ncurses. Copyright (C) 2011,2014 Alexandre Dantas

nsnake is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.

homepage: http://www.alexdantas.net/projects/nsnake/ mailto: [email protected]

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May 6, 2022