Wraparound (video games)

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For other uses, see Wraparound (disambiguation).

Wraparound, in video games, is a gameplay variation on the single-screen in which space is finite but unbounded; objects leaving one side of the screen immediately reappear on the opposite side, maintaining speed and trajectory. This is referred to as "wraparound", since the top and bottom of the screen wrap around to meet, as do the left and right sides (in mathematics, this is known as a Euclidean 2-torus).[1] Some games wrap around in some directions but not others, such as games of the Civilization series that wrap around left to right, or east and west but the top and bottom remain edges representing the North and South Pole (in mathematics, this is known as a cylinder).

In some games such as Asteroids there is no boundary and objects can travel over any part of the screen edge and reappear on the other side.[2] Others such as Pac-Man, Hungry Horace and some games in the Bomberman series, have stages with a boundary surrounding most of the playing area but have few paths connecting the left side to the right, or the top to the bottom, that characters can travel on. The edges of the screen in these games can be seen as a warp zone.


The first commercial arcade video game, Computer Space (1971), featured wraparound space, later followed by Combat (1977) and Asteroids (1979).[1] Pipe Mania (1989), a puzzle game, features wraparound pipe sections in higher game levels.

Non-video games[edit]

Some boardgames such as Lunar Rails (2003) and Dragons of Kir (2005) feature wraparound edges.[citation needed] In the movie The Matrix Reloaded, the character Neo attempts to leave a subway station platform area by running down the train tunnel on the right-side of the platform only to re-appear on the left side of the platform.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The medium of the video game, Mark J. P. Wolf, University of Texas Press, 2001, 203 pp, p. 56, ISBN 978-0-292-79150-3 at Google Books
  2. ^ Salen, Katie (2004). Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals. MIT Press. p. 394. ISBN 0262240459. Retrieved 2014-11-20. 

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